The Greg Hickman-trained Girls Go Racing made amends for her last start failure in heavy going with a good win in the $70,000 Pluck @ Vinery Handicap (BM80) (1000m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday with Jackson Matthews on board.
This preparation has been a lengthy one for the five year old mare out of Puppet Strings, who trialled in January, so has been up since December at least, but living up to her name, she continues to perform.
After settling closer than usual, the daughter of Marechal loomed up quickly in the straight then dug deep in the final furlong to hold off Earnest Ernest (NZ) (Reith) who looked the winner 200m from home but couldn’t get past Girls go Racing.
At the line the margin between the two was a neck with a half neck to Urgent Bells (NZ) (Clipperton) in third. The overall time was 58.61 with the last 600m run in 34.59.
“It was a little bit confusing here last week on the wet track but she came home and did very well so we thought she should go around again,” Hickman said.
“While she misses the start she is a little light-mouthed but she travelled into the race last start but had done too much work on the heavy track, the run was good but it wasn’t right.
“(Matthews) rode her terrific, she was a touch closer and on the bit travelling nice and got through the gap; I thought Joey was going to catch us but we got there.”
“She really pulled herself into the race herself, so I just had to sit there and time it right for the right split,” Matthews said.
“I thought (Earnest Ernest) was going to zip right past me but my girl found the last 50m and really hit the line.”
Girls Go Racing is owned by Miss J J B Hickman, R Montgomery, Eagle Eye Eel Racing Synd (Mgr: J S Gawley), Miss L M Gordon & A & I Racing Synd (Mgr: I D Heathcote).
In the last of the day, the $70,000 Warwick Farm (BM80) (1400m), the Guy Walter-trained Cannery Row scored despite doing a few things wrong.
Ridden by Nathan Berry, Cannery Rown, settled back in the field but came with a strong run in the straight to score a determined win.
It was that simple though, after navigating the traffic, the daughter of Canny Lad hung all the way down the straight but still proved too good.
At the line the margin was three quarters to Fashion (Robl) with a further length to General’s Sniper (Hyeronimus) in third. The overall time was 1.25.20 with the last 600m run in 36.13.
“It was tremendous, I am really pleased,”part owner Patrick Shanahan said.
“Placed seven times out of eleven (before this) and she has only had three wins now but she is all heart.
“(She is in a) very, very happy (place), we are very happy with the way she is going and she just tries all the time.”
“She is a model of consistency, this horse, she had a bit of a tough run last start but she is one of those horses that whatever she does she is always trying there at the end,” Berry said.
“She has been great for the owners, it has been good to get another Saturday winner for Guy because he is a great supporter of mine, we have an excellent strike right going.
“I love racing here, it is home, I know the track back to front and I know a few of the people over the fence so it is great.”
Cannery Row is owned by P F Shanahan, Mrs P M Shanahan, W T Collins & Mrs K H Collins.