SOMETHING Unknown refused to lie down at Tamworth on Tuesday and fought on strongly to hold off race favourite Mr Intrepid and win the $6000 Shay Brennan Constructions Maiden Plate (1300m).
The former Victorian gave the George Woodward Walcha stable a second win for the day, with the gelding claiming a short-half-head win over Zach Hatch’s Mr Intrepid with Jane Clement’s Starada a length and a quarter away in third.
“That was a good win,” said Woodward’s stable foreman Johno Byrne.
“We only brought the two down and we’re going home with two wins.”
Something Unknown was ridden by Geoff Snowden, and he earned his fee.
“He was reefing and fighting me all the way,” Snowden said.
“He’s a big horse and when we paraded I though he’s not going to handle this inside track.
“He could hardly go around the corners but got round all right and I didn’t miss him at the end.”
The new season has been a good one for Snowden.
The 55-year-old, who first started riding in 1980, has been dogged by bad luck with injury over the last few years.
“This is the best start to a season I’ve had for a long time,” he said.
“I’ve ridden almost double figures, whereas in previous years I’ve been nowhere near that.”
In race one, Miss Hanson might have been the outsider of the small field.
But the Walcha mare finished too powerfully for her opponents in the $6000 Peel Valley Tyres Class 2 Handicap (1900m).
Prepared by Woodward and ridden by Oliver, the four-year-old daughter of Host had not won in 13 previous starts. But she was perfectly ridden by the in-form jockey.
Oliver’s win was his 16th in the Hunter and North West Racing Association this season and left him second place on the standings, two wins adrift of Greg Ryan.
“He’s riding well,” Byrne said. “He’s a good little rider – doesn’t ride for us much, though. That might have been his third ride for us.”
Oliver said he had a “nice run” trailing leader Seize Them All and then pounced as the field turned for home on the tight B grass track.
She finished strongly for a half length win, with Pressing Matters two lengths away in third.
“George is a good trainer,” Oliver said.
Miss Hanson might now be prepared for another “similar” 1900m race after she had jumped from 1400m.
She had been tried over the 1900m just once before but that came “at the end of her prep last time in”, Byrne said.