Ilfracombe trained Dual Echelon proved he is the Cup’s king in the Central West with an outstanding win in the Bailey Civil Contractors Willowie Cup 1400m at Ilfracombe on Saturday, July 28. The ‘Boy’ Forster trained ,Top Echelon gelding when ridden by Daryll Brown proved too strong for a gallant Equitant (Shane McGovern) winning by a half length with Secrets (Roy Mules) a further length away in third place.
A $1000 bargain buy for Forster, Dual Echelon has now won the Cup races at Barcaldine, Longreach, McKinlay and Ilfracombe proving to be the superior miler in the region. In all but one of his cup wins Dual Echelon has been ridden by Brown who missed the McKinlay Cup win after a fall earlier in the day. On Saturday, Brown settled Dual Echelon back near the tail of the field before commencing a move 400m from home.On straightening Equitant had taken the lead and was going strongly but was soon joined by Dual Echelon out wider on the track. Under strong hands and heels riding by Brown the topweight carrying 61kg surged to the lead in the last 50 metres and held off the fight back by Equitant. Secrets ran an improved race coming home strongly for third. The winner returned to the enclosure to a rousing reception with congratulations all round to the Forster team.
The meeting was dominated by the Todd Austin stable from Barcaldine with wins in three of the first four races. A brilliant training performance saw Spirit of Sarah win the McLellan Haycutting QTIS Maiden Plate 1000m after an absence of almost two years from the racetrack. Ridden on the pace by Roy ‘Butch’ Mules, Spirit of Sarah was momentarily headed on the turn by the Charlie Prow first starter I’m No Dragon which had made up many lengths after being slowly away. However Spirit Of Sarah dug dig and held on by a half head with Amici’s Hope over three lengths away in third place. Both the winner and runner up can be followed with confidence in future weeks.
The Ilfracombe General Store Class B Handicap 1000m featured a four way finish with the margins being a head x a head x a head. Seagal appeared to have the race won 50 metres from home but Wallaringa fought back to regain the lead and suddenly the Austin trained Stars Are Born sprouted wings down the outside to clinch victory right on the line from Wallaringa with Bell’s Express rattling home along the rails from last place to snatch third from Seagal.
Pigtails provided the Austin stable with their third winner when Chris Kearney piloted the Reset mare to an easy victory in the Pro Tyres/ Jumbuck Motel Class 5 Handicap 1200m. Backing up from a win at Longreach last week Pigtails swept to the lead on the home turn and won by 1.5 lengths from stable mate Greys A Rockin which battled on strongly under the big weight of 62.5kg.Audiola ran an improved race to finish strongly for third. The first two placegetters will win more races shortly.
The George Tipping stable from Mount Isa made a winning visit to the meeting when ex Brisbane galloper Huff And Puff led from start to finish to win the Bentleys Queensland /George Bourne & Assoc. Class 2 Handicap 1200m by over three lengths from Declare and Broke But Lucky. Jockey Steven Galvin had an armchair ride on the Hidden Dragon galloper skipping clear of the opposition once heads were turned for home and although Declare ran wide on the turn it proved no match for the winner.
Also on Saturday in Townsville, Mount Isa star Jabiru Dreaming won the Cleveland Bay Handicap extending his winning sequence to eight wins from eight starts since joining the Patrick Inwood stable. Longreach galloper Gesink finished unplaced in the same race after showing pace to the home turn.
Meanwhile at Charleville, young Korean apprentice Kwanghee Yoo (Bob) continued on his winning ways after his double at Longreach last Saturday kicking home two winners and two seconds from his five rides on the day. Dongcheol Jung (Jack) rode at Ilfracombe but had to settle for two second placings from his five rides.
Racing in the area goes to Tambo and Corfield this Saturday coming, August 4 with the Muttaburra Cup Raceday on August 11.
Story courtesy Rob Luck
Photo: Todd Austin