Toowoomba-owned and Inverell-trained Modest Option belied its name with an impressive victory in the M & T Lockyer-Glencoe Group Maiden Plate at Glen Innes on Saturday.
Having only its second race start, the winner was near the lead all the way before being taken on by Tiny’s View (Sophie Young) but apprentice Codey Hodges kicked the Immovable Option three-year-old filly clear on straightening to record a strong ¾ length victory from Space Tyrant (trained at Muswellbrook by Pat Farrell) with Tiny’s View a half length further back in third place just ahead of Our Danny Boy ridden by Scott Thurlow.
Toowoomba farmer Tom Missingham was on hand to represent the other owners and was delighted with the win.
“She led them up at Inverell the other day (New Year’s Day) but was probably a little underdone there. But she went well here today,” he said.
“She found another gear in the straight.”
The other owners are mostly working in the mines and are currently stationed at Curtis Island, off Gladstone in north Queensland.
They were able to listen to the race and ring Missingham in Glen Innes to celebrate.
The winner’s dam, Modest Miss, has had three offspring and all have been winners.
Tamworth apprentice Sophie Young rode the first winner on Glen Innes’ Cup day last year.
On Saturday, the talented young apprentice returned to win again, albeit in the fifth race, by driving Tara’s Gift to the narrowest victory of the day in the Glen Innes Services Club Benchmark 55 Handicap.
Young’s vigorous ride stalled off second placegetter, Ballantine (Matthew Powell and Lesley Jeffriess) for a head win with 1.5 lengths to third placed local hope Makerel Sky (Dean Jones and Sue Grills) with Medal of Glory (Robert Agnew and Mark Taylor) in fourth.
Barrier five and a smart beginning saw Tara’s Gift take the early lead which she never relinquished despite the strong finish of Ballantine.
The race was won in 1min 10.63secs for the 1200m, eclipsing the track record which had stood since 1988.
Owners Rob and Jean Holden are hoping to have the All Courage four-year-old mare race at their home Walcha carnival after a possible Tamworth commitment in the near future.
“She’s a good little mare and loves to lead,” said Rob.
“She’s the best of the thirteen or fourteen horses we’ve been involved in over the years.
“She was very well ridden today by Sophie (Young).
“She was scratched from Inverell when she took a bit of skin off a leg but there was no harm done.”
Jean Holden says the mare gets a bit cranky at times.
“She has a few girly moments but Jane (Bendemeer trainer Jane Clement) knows how to handle her.”