Luke’s Gold gallops in to a second metro win
Albany’s two runners in the $100,000 Skyracing.TV Provincial Championship Series Final (1400m) at Belmont Park on Saturday finished unplaced.
Apollo and Lickety Split trained by leading Great Southern duo Steve Wolfe and Roy Rogers finished ninth and 15th respectively.
But there was success for Rogers with rejuvenated galloper Luke’s Gold charging to a second Saturday metropolitan win in his last three starts.
Six-year-old gelding Apollo received little support in betting jumping a $50 chance on the tote but loomed as a chance in the home straight before fading to run ninth.
Meanwhile Lickety Split was unable to give anything in the straight after settling in the back half of the field, finishing 15th in a field of 16.
Earlier seven-year-old gelding Luke’s Gold produced a sharp turn of foot in the Crown Perth Handicap (1400m) to grab Massimo, this season’s Placid Ark Stakes winner, in the final stages.
Jockey Chris Nicoll settled the Rogers-trained galloper midfield before peeling out around the field nearing the corner and then sprinting down the middle of the track with a well-timed run to win by 0.4 lengths.
Rogers said Luke’s Gold has always shown plenty.
“We were quietly confident, a couple of the owners put on big bets and cleaned up,” Rogers said.
“We were confident the week before but the saddle slipped and we got blocked for a short bit of the straight.
“Our plan was to ride him cold from the barrier and bring him down the middle of the track, which was how they were winning later on in the day.
“He will continue to just go through the grades and stay at 72+ for now, he could step up into a suitable listed race.”
Rogers’ good friend and Perth trainer Vaughn Sigley sent the horse down to Albany for a change of setting.
“We are good mates and he is a good judge,” he said.
“(Vaughn) sent me the horse because he thought the change of environment would help and the horse has thrived down here.”
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