Tamworth trainer Melanie O’Gorman received a double boost as she prepares for a tilt at the $1.3mill Kosciuszko with stable star Suncraze at Randwick on Saturday, with Autumn Ridge and Rubble winning at Tamworth on Monday.
Autumn Ridge broke through to win his first race and also win his owners their first race as well.
The three-year-old son of Dream Ballad won the Craig Martin Uses Hygain NV1 Maiden Plate (1400m) by a length and three quarter from Continuation. The Stephen Jones-trained Palais De Louvre was third.
Autumn Ridge is out of a mare called Youth Dew, who was raced by Steve and Cheryl Miller. Their son, Will, and daughter, Erin, race Autumn Ridge and they celebrated their first win as owners, Will on-course and Erin in Brisbane.
For Steve it was a great occasion, reminiscing on many of the winners that have come out of Erin Park Stud, set up by his late father Bill Miller and featuring some brilliant sprinters sired by Flying Dolphin.
One, Gold Dolphin, won a Romantic Dream 2YO plate a number of years ago, he said.
“You lose track of all the good horses,” he said.
“We’ve got all the clippings at home. Have to have a night reminiscing.”
O’Gorman now trains out of Erin Park.
“Mel’s done a great job,” Miller said.
“Autumn Ridge has been an unlucky horse, but got the right run today. It was a good ride too by Luke (Cumberland). We’re very happy. He’s a very consistent horse, always tries hard and will be even better when he gets out over 1600m.”
Rubble then surged late to edge out Stoke It Up in the final race of the day.
The bay colt, a three-year-old son of Fastnet Rock beat the Sally Torrens-trained Stoke It Up by a short head in the Sue Grills Uses Hygain Feeds Class 1 Handicap (1400m).
Shangato was a close up third.
With O’Gorman in at a Sydney sale Miller officiated.
“He’s a beautiful horse,” he said.
“He’s taken a lot of work though. Mel has done a great job with him.”
“And he was ridden a treat (by Andrew Gibbons).
“But he is a real tough horse and he will strip a lot better for winning this.”
Litt Up meanwhile might light up a few more race tracks after he lit a winning fuse in the Dennett Racing Uses Hygain Feeds Maiden Handicap (1200m)
The Tim McIntosh-trained gelding, a four-year-old son of Star Witness, was a short neck winner from the Rod Northam-trained Nick The Skip.
Fourth emergency, Whiskey Apple, prepared by Sally Torrens, was three quarters of a length away third.
Litt Up was having his sixth race start and having his second run back following a short let up.
He had returned with a good fourth at Port Macquarie late last month.
“He ran a real good race at Port,” McIntosh said.
“Haven’t done a real lot with him, just freshened him up.”
He has always liked Litt Up.
“Always shown a bit,” he said of a gelding who has a lot to learn.
“He’s a bit of a goose.
His major mission at this stage is to settle the gelding down and educate him however for a $3000 purchase from the Scone Yearling Sale he isn’t going too bad.