Trainer delivers Faithfully

Headshot of Cameron Newbold
Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

A brilliant start to her training career continued for Albany’s Samantha Faithfull after teaming with her daughter, jockey Natasha Faithfull, to score a winning double on Boxing Day at Percy Spencer Racecourse.

Starting as a trainer in late November, the first few weeks have been full of success for Faithfull after saddling her maiden winner in Narrogin on that very first day and then saluting with Twisted Mountain and Mu Mu Land in front of a massive crowd last week.

Twisted Mountain has won two of her past three starts since joining the Faithfull stable, shooting home along the rail to get past leader Puck Shapeshifter in the shadows of the post and win the Aqua Ice Handicap (1050m) by a head.

Faithfull would have more joy, however, in the final race on the program as $36 shot Mu Mu Land overcame an awkward draw to lead and fight off the fast-finishing Waychinicup and Jester Ferrari in the Who’s Lucky Libby Handicap (1100m).

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Having her first start for Faithfull, the seven-year-old mare carried the minimum 54kg but lifted under the vigour of senior hoop Natasha Faithfull in the closing stages to edge out Waychinicup by a long head.

“I was surprised to get a double,” Samantha Faithfull said.

“I knew Mu Mu Land would be a place chance — she is ticking all the boxes now — but Twisted Mountain has really come into himself and he is thriving at the moment.

“It was great to have Tash on board and just a fantastic feeling to have two winners.”

Trainer Faithfull has a winning strike rate of 38 per cent, with three victories from the eight runners so far to start her training career.

Natasha Faithfull’s day was soured by a 17-day careless riding suspension after shifting inwards on Mu Mu Land when insufficiently clear of another runner, and will return to the saddle on January 13.

Meanwhile, talented local sprinter Long Knife made a welcome return to form on the eight-race card, ending a 299-day winning drought in the XXXX Gold Boxing Day Trophy (1230m).

Long Knife (right) is urged to the line by jockey Peter Knuckey to narrowly win the XXXX Gold Boxing Day Trophy (1230m) over Bindaree Lady, ridden by Mitchell Pateman.
Camera IconLong Knife (right) is urged to the line by jockey Peter Knuckey to narrowly win the XXXX Gold Boxing Day Trophy (1230m) over Bindaree Lady, ridden by Mitchell Pateman. Credit: Western Racepix

Long Knife, a winner six times in Albany now, led from barrier three for rider Peter Knuckey and fought back gallantly in the home straight after Bindaree Lady momentarily hit the front.

Under hard-riding from Knuckey, the eight-year-old lifted brilliantly to win by a nose and trainer Des Attwell believes he can now press on to next month’s $100,000 Fitzpatrick Plate.

“Peter Knuckey made a big difference — we adjusted his gear and he’s got his fitness up more now,” Attwell said.

“He’s an older horse and has just taken some time to get him right.”

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