Godolphin’s machine was working smoothly in two States on Saturday with first Commands four-year-old entire Bandipur winning the $100,000, VRC Member Peter Dakin Handicap (1000m) at Flemington with 57kg under a strong finish from Dwayne Dunn with a length margin to the Ellerton and Zahra trained Prezado.
It was the second win in succession for Bandipur after winning at Randwick over 1000m on July 21st and he has the good record of five wins from 11 starts and with four placings he has earned stakes of $345,955.
Secondly, in a similar placement, Trekking also made it two wins in succession when taking the $100,000, Campbelltown Catholic Club Bm 94 Handcap (1100m) at Rosehill.
The four-year-old Street Cry gelding has always shown ability while not quite living up to the highest expectations. He was second to Trapeze Artist in the 2017 Group 3 Black Opal Stakes over 1200m, but was 12th in the Group 1 Golden Slipper over 1200m at Rosehill after starting from 15 under William Buick.
This time last year he was third to Menari and Siege Of Quebec in the listed The Rosebud ad third again in the Group 2 Red Anchor Stakes over 1200m at The Valley.
Trekking and Kerrin McEvoy, one of three winners for McEvoy at Rosehill, picture Sportpix.com.au
Older and stronger Trekking was able to put away the field on Saturday. He carried 54kg under Kerrin McEvoy to Tactical Advantage’s 61kg under Hugh Bowman so he was well placed, but it was the manner in which he responded to McEvoy when asked over the final 100m that showed additional promise of more.
Trekking, out of the Redoute’s Choice mare Outdoor, does not yet have the record of Bandipur, but at three wins and three placings he has earned stakes of $259,545 as a serious contribution to the stable.
There was a hiccup though when Plague Stone was fourth in the $150,000, listed Smithfield RSL Club Rosebud (1100m) after the Lonhro colt started as the $3.80 fixed odds co-favourite with Oxford Tycoon.
Plague Stone was three wide for the trip and could not haul back the leading two of Golden Tycoon and Charge plus the winner Sandbar.
Matters picked up considerably later when their import Home Of The Brave (IRE) very nearly won the $150,000, Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington in the seven-year-old’s first Australian race.
Damien Lane took Home Of The Brave to the front and they led for virtually all of the trip, racing in the middle of the track, until the race fit Voodoo Lad and Damien Oliver went past for the win.
Trainer James Cummings was pleased with the first showing of Home Of The Brave.
“That was a really good performance to place in a Group race as a first race for us. So it will be interesting to see what the boys make of him and I would like to hear Damien’s thoughts. He tried to make all but he found a fit horse on the day and I suspect there is a little bit of improvement in him,” he said.
Flow and McEvoy out in the middle of the track, picture Stevehart.com.au
Then it was back to Rosehill and Flow won the $100,000, Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club Spring Preview (1400m) under Kerrin McEvoy who was riding his third winner of the programme.
The consistent Flow, a five-year-old Street Cry gelding, has now won two of his five starts this preparation and placed in two others.
On Saturday Flow, with 55kg, was produced at exactly the right time by McEvoy chasing down the top-weight Prized Icon with 59kg under apprentice Sam Weatherly for the win. Cummings trained Prized Icon to win the Group 1 VRC Derby over 2500m at Flemington when he was a public trainer.
“Full credit to Flow to get past a horse as good as Prized Icon. Kerrin did the right thing, he did not panic as even though he was in the three wide position he had cover. I thought Flow responded very well, he has just had a great preparation,” said Cummings.
The stable finished with Absolute third in the ClubsNSW Bm 81 Handicap (1350m), the final race of the Rosehill programme.
It was a good day for the boys in blue.
Bandipur and Dwayne Dunn, picture Quentinjlang.com