Even trainer surprised by his classy Gift horse

JAMES Berry reckoned Michelle’s Gift was city class in yesterday’s Leader and she backed up the young Muswellbrook trainer’s judgment perfectly when she kicked clear of a good field to win yesterday’s 2TM/92.9 Benchmark Handicap (1200m) at Tamworth.

Michelle's Gift and Daniel Northey win well at Tamworth yesterday. Photo: Gareth Gardner 150814GGE04

Michelle's Gift and Daniel Northey win well at Tamworth yesterday. Photo: Gareth Gardner 150814GGE04

With regular track-work rider Daniel Northey on board the lightly raced daughter of Spinning World shrugged off a looming posse at the top of the straight to race clear for a two and quarter length win in a good 1min 9.5secs.

“That was nice,” Northey said after bouncing her out of barrier six to lead approaching the turn.

“She’s gone back-to-back here (at Tamworth) and was up in grade today too.

“She jumped better than ever today and I took advantage of it. It was all over when I let her go.”

 Berry  was a little worried at the top of the straight when her opponents seemed to be lining up. “But she kicked well didn’t she,” he said yesterday.

“She was very impressive. I didn’t think she’d go that well.

“Great to have a good horse.”

The 33-year-old trainer with just two in his stable is now planning on bigger races with the four-year-old bay mare, who has now won three of her six starts.

“I will nominate her for the Mona Lisa but she probably won’t get a run in that. I’ll look for a race at the provincials or maybe even a no metro wins, no big plans though, she’s been in a long time.”

The Mona Lisa Stakes is a $100,000 Listed race for fillies and mares at Wyong on Friday, September 5.

While James Berry was celebrating an impressive win the TJC raced an eight race program where grey Wellington gelding won the other B65 handicap over 1600m for his trainer Karen McCarroll.

Dalpura started the day well for Tamworth trainer David Hatch with a good win over 1200m in 1min 9.89secs, 0.39secs slower than Michelle’s Gift. $470,000 yearling purchase Celebrities Choice had a scare before snaring her first win with a half head win over Leon Davies’ Maybegrey before the Tamworth trainer bounced back with a victory of his own with Can He Rap.

Sally Torrens kept her amazing record going when Yarrandi kicked back to win the Downtown Magazine Class 1 & Maiden Handicap (1600m). Since turning her hand to training thoroughbreds the former pacing trainer/driver has won with four different horses, Subtract, Romanticize, Estada and now former Queenslander Yarrandi.

“I keep pinching myself,” Sally Torrens said after Yarrandi’s tough and fighting win.

Paul Berrigan also had  welcome drought-breaking win with Elsalinda while Robert Thompson bookeneded the Tamworth meeting with  Dalpura and Mark Mason’s Starlight Dynasty, leading all the way on his second number nine.