OUR Girl Charlie broke through in dominant fashion to win Tuesday’s $20,000 Freight Specialists F&M Maiden Plate (1200m) at Tamworth.
The Kris Lees-trained three-year-old filly was having her third run after debuting at Taree and running fifth at Scone in May.
She has been off the scene 200 days since but returned in fine order for Andrew Gibbons to race to a length win from Karen Fox’s Kalakhani with another length to the Greg Bennett-trained Inforawaltz.
Lees trains Our Girl Charlie a daughter of Mybocharlie, for a large syndicate including Newcastle’s Shane Humphries, who was delighted with the win.
“It’s great fun, even better when they win,” he said.
“I’ve got a few others with him too.”
One of those is Little Shocker, who won at Tamworth as a two-year-old for him as well.
Lees then made it a running double when Dead Calm raced away with to a commanding three length victory in the $20,000 Allsopp Signs Colts, Geldings and Entires Maiden Plate (1200m).
In doing so he ran 1min 10.59secs, almost eight tenths quicker than his stablemate Our Girl Charlie clocked in the first.
“He won real well,” said stable foreman Chris Hull.
“He’s a nice horse but taken a couple of preps to get going.”
Aaron Bullock rode Dead Calm and said the four-year-old gelding son of Choisir will “take a lot of confidence out of that”.
Scone trainer Greg Bennett edged closer to a win when Kickstart My Heart chased home Dead Calm.
He was also delighted with the debut of four-year-old mare, Inforawaltz, who ran a game third to Our Girl Charlie in the first.
“That was her first start, pretty happy with that,” Bennett said.
“She’s a full sister to Invienna, just taken a bit of time.”
He will spell her now.
Exitozo then might have earned a crack at another Highway Handicap in Sydney after he sprinted to victory in the Ashcroft Property Benchmark 60 Handicap (1200m).
The Scott Thompson-prepared gelding dashed down the middle of the renovated Tamworth track after a perfect Rachael Murray ride to set up a third career win although unlucky Boolaroo charged home wider for Melanie Bolwell and Tamworth trainer Sue Grills.
The short neck win belied the dominance of Exitozo’s win and the hampering Boolaroo had obtaining a run.
For Scott Thompson the win was a relief.
The Quirindi trainer has a good opinion of the five-year-old gelding son of Excites.
“He’s been running some good races but not having much luck,” he said.
“Always been a big horse but not mature. He’s going a lot better now that he’s a lot more mature.”
A Highway Handicap is now firmly in Thompson’s aim.
“He ran fourth or fifth in his first one,” he said.
“But I will give him another run at a Highway Handicap and then a Country Championship.”