Gobou shows his true grit

RACING: Those fortunate enough to be at Rockhampton’s Callaghan Park races yesterday saw a special horse in the form of Gobou make a gritty winning debut in open class at his comeback run after injury.

Ridden by Adrian Coome and carrying 2kg over the limit, Gobou ($1.50) was caught a little wide in the early jockeying for positions in the Open Handicap (1100m), but in his usual determined fashion he virtually went into a another gear to power away from veteran Rock Of Mufasa (Tracy O’Hara, $11.90) and win by three-quarters of a length.

It was Gobou’s sixth consecutive win, but just maybe his most pleasing for young trainer Clinton Garland who nursed the five-year-old along after injures sustained when he lost his footing and fell heavily on bitumen after dashing off the track in a rider less escapade on June 12.

Garland had good reason to be all smiles after Gobou’s winning time – a record 1min:04.01 seconds was posted. The win has virtually sealed the $2000 Magic Million purchase’s next mission directed at a tilt at the $45,000 Country Cup (1200m) at Eagle Farm on November 28.

“I know it sounds silly considering he ran a record time, but he (Gobou) didn’t really handle the track. Over the last 150 metres I doubted he was going to get there, but his big heart took over,” Garland said.

He reported that Gobou had pulled up “enormous” after the win, testimony to the trainer’s astuteness in plotting him for a first-up win in such strong company. Actually, Gobou ($1.50) was the only favourite to win on the eight-race card which produced its share of upsets.

Earlier during the program some sizeable bets went astray on the Garland-trained debutant Mrsooty ($4.00) favourite, who finished 14.7 lengths behind winner Ciara Gold (Ashley Butler, $4.20). In the Maiden Plate (1000m). The win was welcome for trainer Sandra Graham, who in the past fortnight had led in dead-heat winners My Fella and Sonns Suzay.

The latter was a creditable second yesterday behind Peter Fleming’s Sunshine Coaster, the Moon Rocket filly Craiglea Apollo (Kelvin Wharton, $5.40) in the Class 3 (1000m)

Thanks to the buoyant QRIS 600 Scheme, Gracemere trainer Lyn Sullivan’s Bradbury’s Luck-Piccotime filly Elegance On Ice (Ashley Butler, $6.00) snagged a cool $20,500 for winning the 2YO (1000m).

Bred by the trainer and her husband Dick Sullivan, Elegance On Ice had trimmed down appreciably since her handy debut run at Yeppoon on October 27 when 9.6 lengths fifth of 11 behind Mundi Gully.

The biggest upset yesterday came per medium of Wayne Pomfrett’s Mackay gelding, Manilla Warrior (Trinity Bannon), who returned a $32 win dividend in the Class 5 (1150m).

Gladstone trainer David Bagnall also produced a good-priced winner when his Western Red three-year-old Bold Grey (Matt Cant, $`16.40) took out the Maiden (1300m).

Proven sand-scratcher, the Jeff Rideout-trained Berrima Boogie (Michael Cullen, $11.20) followed a 5.75 lengths win on that surface at Gladstone, with an impressive display in winning the Class 1 (1300m) on the Callaghan Park loamy sand track.

It was the underrated Michael Cullen’s third winner for the week.

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