BAABULU stormed away to win the Noelene Martin Memorial Benchmark 56 Handicap (2100m) at Tamworth yesterday and suggest to his Gunnedah trainer the five-year-old might be maturing into a strong stayer.
With just one win in 18 starts prior to yesterday’s feature race at Tamworth, the son of Anabaa had not overly impressed.
Indeed, bookies sent him out a 33-1 chance and he ended up paying more than $30 on the NSW TAB.
He also impressed young jockey Daniel Northey.
“He tugged a bit hard early on but then he came back under me well and travelled well,” Northey said after the win.
“When the gap opened though he went to the line really well.”
Baabulu surged strongly after being second and third most of the way behind pacemaking Shady Days.
Once he balanced up, he gave nothing else a chance, with favourite Missing In Action running into trouble and only gaining a late clearance to finish on well, two and three quarter lengths from the Gunnedah winner.
It was a fitting win for Northey too.
He was unlucky not to win the South Muswellbrook Cup earlier in the week on Prior Baron when beaten a nose by Clickety Snip.
Groth believes Baabulu has a bright future.
“His run at Bundarra (8th to The Early Bird) wasn’t that bad. He had a wide gate and it favoured on-pace runners that day.
“We pushed up but got caught wide.
“He was still in front with 200m to go too.
“So I thought he was a chance today when he drew well and thought he’d run a strong 2100m.”
Meanwhile, Ben Peters might have been shouting a few beers at his Valley Hotel in Muswellbrook last night after Corporal Jones won for the Aberdeen publican.
Peters lives at Aberdeen but owns the Valley Hotel and races Corporal Jones with a syndicate.
Peters bought Corporal Jones at a tried sale after he had run a couple of trials and then leased him out to a group of owners with Jan Bowen.
He also retained a share in the lease and was all smiles yesterday when the seven-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway won the Freight Specialists Benchmark 54 Handicap (1600m).
“He’s the first horse I’ve had,” Peters said after winning jockey Glenn Lynch had dismounted and unsaddled.
“My grandfather and father have all had horses.
“I come from a long line of punters.
“He’s done well though.
“Full credit to his trainer – she’s done a great job.”
Bowen trains Corporal Jones and has no set plans for the gelding.
“I’ll just take it one race at a time,” Bowen said.
“We’ll have a look now and see what’s coming up for him.”
Lynch was impressed by the gelding, who has now won five of his 35 starts.
“It was a good solid win,” Lynch told Peters and Bowen.
“He had a tough run.”