Wolfe opens the season with Mt Barker double
Leading Albany trainer Steve Wolfe has started the new Great Southern season with a double after youngster Cleo’s Afterparty and five-year-old Gauged both won at the Mt Barker Turf Club on Sunday afternoon.
Wolfe took home a quinella in the Bruce Williamson Memorial Maiden (1200m) after three-year-old galloper Cleo’s Afterparty held off a sizzling finish from stablemate and fellow three-year-old Margays.
Running second to smart type Art Series in his only previous start as a two-year-old, Cleo’s Afterparty settled just off the speed for jockey Peter Hall before bursting to the front and then edging out Margays by a head.
Margays, ridden by Peter Knuckey, was ninth on the home corner but hit top gear in the home straight to run home strongly and grab second ahead of River Justice.
“Cleo’s is a nice horse who went shin-sore after his first run,” Wolfe said.
“He’ll improve on that and will maybe have one more start or go out. (Margays) was clearly the run of the race.”
Lightly raced Danehill Express gelding Gauged also returned to form, scoring an upset win in the Plantagenet Sheds And Steel Handicap (1300m) upon resuming with Knuckey in the saddle.
Jumping a $16.40 chance on the tote Gauged settled in the back half of the field and was far too strong in the home straight, shooting clear to beat Lord Kronos by 1¾ lengths. Stablemate and $2.60 favourite Mass Effect, carrying 60kg faded to run sixth.
Wolfe said Gauged had returned in top order and will head to the Tabtouch Regional Championship heat in Albany on November 19.
“He’s in really good order, we kept him a bit fresh,” he said.
“A different rider and he won very easily. We’ll keep him fresh and go the championship heat in Albany which is only 70m shorter and a longer straight.”
Apprentice rider Andrew Castle received an 11-day careless riding suspension for interference he caused in race 1.
Zipabout finished third with the Dixie Solly-trained Bindaree Lady ticking her career prize earnings past $100,000 with an eighth win.
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