PLAYA’S stunning victory in yesterday’s Gaukrogers and Sons Goodwood Cup (1200m) had emotions flowing in Inverell yesterday.
Everyone at the track must have had a smile on their face and a tear in their eye when the eight-year-old Octagonal gelding kicked away from the pack in the feature race.
Moree father and son trainers Peter and Nathan Sinclair had already received the best Christmas present of all, but this is just the icing on the cake.
The trainers could not watch the race but were listening via phone from Newcastle after father Peter donated a kidney to his son that saved his life last week.
Playa’s trainer Nathan has been suffering from spina bifida since birth and has battled against all odds.
Nathan’s grandfather and former trainer Phillip was trackside for the race.
“It’s a fantastic win for the boys at the moment,” Sinclair said.
“They heard the race over the phone and couldn’t believe it. It will be a good lift for both Peter and Nathan.”
Inverell Jockey Club life member Brian Baldwin said the race was a boilover in every way.
The Peter Cleal-trained lightweight Espionage went to the front early and led along with Medal of Glory, Rioqualo and Dusty’s Felt.
When they turned on to the straight Espionage kicked and got away and Love Our Girls joined the chasing pack.
“All of a sudden Playa burst through the middle from nowhere and hit the front,” Baldwin said.
“With one furlong to go they were spread five across the track.”
“It was a great run and very special.”
Playa came from sixth and just outstayed Dusty’s Felt to win by a half length, with the same margin again to third placed Espionage who had a tough run. It was the third class record to be run on the day after Bare Feet in the first and Jadestra in the third.
The horse is a new acquisition of a syndicate put together by Moree racing personality Bill Poulos.
The syndicate bought the horse from Canberra for the picnic races next year but thought they would give it a run in the Goodwood.
Peter and Nathan are both out of hospital now, although Nathan needs to go to John Hunter every day for the next six weeks for follow up treatment.
After that the pair will be back in Moree to celebrate life and horses and get back on the track.