Ilfracombe trained galloper Dual Echelon returned to his cup winning form with a dominant win in the OMA Contracting/Ross Cup Open handicap 1600m at Isisford on Saturday, October 27. In the last of the feature cup events in central west racing, Dual Echelon surged away to a two point three length victory over Jundah Cup winner Secrets with Roma visitor Owners Priority another four lengths away third.
The race was dominated early by Known Prospect and Owners Priority who engaged in a speed battle from the outset with Secrets and Dual Echelon starting to put themselves into the race 400metres from home. Nearing the turn only a length separated the four runners with Secrets and Dual Echelon surging past the early leaders as they straightened. These two gallopers settled down to fight out the finish with Dual Echelon gaining the upper hand 200 metres from home and surging clear over the last 100metres. Secrets was a game second with Owners Priority doing well to hold off Equitant for third.
Dual Echelon has dominated cups racing this season in the Central West with wins at Barcaldine, Longreach, McKinlay and Ilfracombe prior to Saturday. He has proven to be a bargain buy for trainer Henry ‘Boy’ Forster who was really pleased to see his Top Echelon gelding return to his best form after some below par runs in the Betoota and Birdsville Cups. He may give the galloper one more run at Longreach on Melbourne Cup day before going for a well earned spell.
Any owner is pleased to see their horse start fulfilling its potential and none more so than Julie Eggerling whose Sequalo gelding Seagal easily won the GW & DJ Ballard/David Bell Electrical Contractor Class B Handicap 1400m. Big things are expected of this horse and a glimpse of his real ability was shown on Saturday after an all the way win over Devious Man and Epic Dancer. Jockey Cameron Dixon had no hesitation in going to the lead and turning for home was some six lengths clear. The result was never in doubt and interestingly Seagal ran a faster 1400metres than Cup winner Dual Echelon.
Toowoomba based jockey Bonnie Thomson had a profitable trip to Isisford with a winning double. She rode Amici’s Hope to victory for Todd Austin in the Golden West Hotel QTIS Maiden Plate 1200m sharing the lead most of the journey before pulling away in the straight to defeat Cicerao Mountain and Go Gus Go. In the ISIS Downs Class 3 Plate she had another dominant win on consistent galloper What Do You Want trained in Roma by Ben Waldron. The Waldron Racing Stable have been as far as Longreach, Emerald and Dingo in recent weeks chasing wins and What Do You Want was rewarded after placings at Longreach and Dingo. The winner proved too strong for Tatyoon and Struckbylightning.
Racing in the Central West returns to Barcaldine this Saturday to coincide with Derby Day in Melbourne and then Longreach on Tuesday for the Melbourne Cup Day meeting.
Story by Rob Luck
Photo: Dual Echelon’s connections after winning the Longreach Jockey Club RM Williams XXXX Gold Cup in June, 2012