VACILLATE didn’t hesitate or dither as his name might suggest but finished stoutly after bumping a fancied opponent out of the way to win Tuesday’s $20,000 Easters Sand Soil and Gravel Maiden Handicap (1600m) at Tamworth.
The Rod Northam-trained gelding, a chestnut son of New Approach, had debuted with a 4.2 length sixth to Hand Timed at Narromine on November 12 but improved again to notch a short half head win over Mark Hatch’s Blaine.
The Tamworth-trained Blaine had looked the winner when he burst to the front on balancing up in the straight with Vacillate his only danger. Daniel Northey’s vigorous riding effort enabled Vacillate to gradually reel in Blaine and nab him in the final stride.
Northey and Vacillate had pushed the Paul Messara-trained Redan Lane out as they jostled for a run three-wide on the point of the turn and set sail for home.
“It was super,” Northam said.
“Daniel rode him real well.”
Northey was delighted.
“He was quite strong at the finish,” he said.
“He will run a mile and a quarter next prep.”
Northam believes there is plenty in store for Vacillate.
“He’s still a bit green but looking at that there is still improvement off that.”
He is headed to Brisbane this week, with stable sprinting star Big Money entered for the $200,000 George Moore Stakes.
Infantry then marched to a second career win when he overpowered his opponents in the $20,000 Advanced Inland Security Class 3 Handicap (1600m).
The Cody Morgan-trained gelding raced away from his opponents halfway round to set up up a big lead.
It was a dashing and daring move hatched by Cody and good mate and jockey Ben Looker.
“Ben came over the night before and we had a few scotches,” Morgan said.
“We talked about the race.”
And hatched their plan - a plan that worked perfectly.
It was a plan borne out of the Tamworth running rail being out 5m and thus favouring frontrunners.
“We didn’t think he’d lead by that far though,” Morgan said.
A former Victorian, Infantry was bought by Morgan’s father Glen and is raced by Cody’s mother, Mary, and Cody’s partner, Lauryn. He might also make a late entry and race him at Tamworth next Monday.
“We might tip him out too and give him a short spell, don’t know yet,” Morgan said.
“But we might bring him back and run in a few of those 1900 metres at Armidale.”
That would be a great run into a possible Armidale Cup.
“That’s the ultimate aim,” Cody said with a wide grin.
Tamworth Jockey Club has meanwhile appointed Damon Sullivan to the position of General Manager.