FLASH Attack won his first race at his 13th start at Quirindi yesterday.
It just happened to be the feature race on the Boxing Day meeting – the $7000 Dooley’s Friendly Grocer Murrurundi Cup (2000m).
The five-year-old gelding son of Olympus had not excelled in his first 12 starts, two thirds the best he’d finished.
However young NZ apprentice Courtney van der Werf got the best out of the Scott Thompson-trained gelding for a slogging neck victory from Exotic Fever with a length and a quarter to Fantastic Blaze.
Thompson and part- owner Anthony Boyce congratulated the Muswellbrook-based apprentice on her win.
“It was a good ride,” Thompson told her.
“It wasn’t easy,” she replied.
“It was hard work, the hardest I’ve ever had to ride a horse out.”
Thompson was delighted.
“His first race he wins and it’s a cup,” he said.
“He works well enough to win a good race.
“It might be just the distance he needs.
“He pulled up good too.”
Thompson trains him for a Gunnedah syndicate headed by Gunnedah Jockey Club president Mal Walsh and including Boyce.
“He’s my first horse,” Boyce said.
“Mal got me in the syndicate with a few of the blokes – Pete Ryman and Justin Fisher and the boys.
“We were close to getting rid of him too.”
Yesterday’s win might well have saved him for a little while yet as Thompson ponders finding a race of around 2000m for him to see whether staying is his caper.
Van der Werf made it a running double when she piloted consistent Groover Girl to a third career win in Wednesday’s Howard’s Coaches Class 1 Handicap (1000m) at Quirindi in what was the second leg of the young Kiwi rider’s treble.
The Quirindi-trained six-year-old mare had run 17 placings in her 45-start career before the Boxing Day success.
A length and a quarter win from Gavin Groth’s Camlouise made Geoff O’Brien’s day as the Quirindi trainer also owns the daughter of Marechal.
“She rides well that little girl,” O’Brien said of the Muswellbrook lass.
“Rode her perfect.”
Groover Girl has been ultra consistent, O’Brien said.
“She’s getting a bit long in the tooth,” he said.
“But she is honest as the day is long.
“A bit of dampness in the ground helped as well.
“She’s always been thereabouts, always honest and always give 100 per cent.
“She’s a lovely mare to train too.”