Muswellbrook trainer Mark Schmetzer achieves first part of Kosciuszko plan at Skellatar Park track


MARK Schmetzer achieved the first part of his plan to get a horse through to The Kosciuszko when Majestic Pedrille ran a class record to win the Godolphin Ladies Day Cup (1280m) at Muswellbrook on Sunday.

Now, the Muswellbrook-based trainer has to find a ticket holder who wants to select the mare for the $1.3 million feature for country-trained horses at Randwick on Everest day.

The sale of tickets in The Kosciuszko closes at midnight on Thursday with the draw for 12 lucky ticket holders on Friday, so Schmetzer does not have a lot of time to find a sponsor.

“That was impressive and she has run time, so hopefully she has caught the attention of a few people who have tickets,” he said.

“If she does get a slot in The Kosciuszko she would probably go into it without another run.

“On that effort and the fact she has to come back in distance, I would prefer to take her into it a little fresh.”

Majestic Pedrille went into the race first up from an enforced spell after she bled from both nostrils in a Highway Handicap at Randwick in April.

“It might have been a blessing in disguise,” Schmetzer said.

“She had always been strong physically but mentally she was never really there but this time in she has matured in that area as well.”

Mitchell Bell, who has ridden the mare in the majority of her runs, was impressed.

“That is the best she has ever felt and there is room for improvement,” he said.

Bell settled Majestic Pedrille ($4.80) mid field and wide from her outside barrier, stayed wide to the turn then went to the middle of the track at the top of the straight and raced away to win by two lengths from the $3.80 favourite Lips ‘N’ Lashes.

Her time, 1:16.47 easily eclipsed the previous best of 1:18.57 set in June 2012.

Schmetzer’s other runner, Love None, finished seventh after easing in betting.


STEPHEN Jones fears his health is going to suffer if the heavily-backed Mr Wong keeps repeating his racing pattern following his outstanding win in the Hunter Belle Dairy Co Country Maiden (1450m).

The Jones-trained Mr Wong (Mitchell Bell) was backed in from double figure odds early to start the $2.70 favourite.

But, it left the trainer and his backers reaching for medication after he missed the start and was last early.

Bell then took him forward to be mid-field coming to the turn.

He worked down the outside then produced a powerful sprint in the last 50m to claim the leader Femtometre near the line to win by a neck.

“If he keeps doing that I’m going to have a heart attack,” Jones said.

“I think my heart stopped when they were in the straight.

“He is a pretty good horse but still learning.

“I put blinkers on him after he failed at his first start here and trialled him in them and he went OK.

“I’ll give him another jump out with the blinkers on to give him a bit more education, find a Class One somewhere and if he wins that take him to Sydney for a Highway.”

Bell said Mr Wong had tried to anticipate the start.

“Just before the gates opened he lunged forward then as they opened he went back,” he explained.

“He still has a lot to learn but he has plenty of ability.”


ANOTHER winner from this meeting, which is also headed for a Highway, is the John Ramsey-trained In Good Health (Grant Buckley), which won the Thoroughbred Events Australia Maiden (900m).

“There is a Class 1 here in three weeks-time then a Highway over 1100m three weeks after that,” Ramsey said.

“That’s the plan anyway.”

Two starts back In Good Health ran a close second at Scone when favourite then started an odds-on favourite but failed badly when second last at Dubbo.

“Either she was ‘horsing’ of she did not appreciate the heavy track,” Ramsey said.

In Good Health was also slow at the start but Buckley drove her along the fence to be fourth coming to the turn.

He set out after the leader Snippets Of Rain ($2.80 fav) in the straight and went on to beat him by two lengths in 51.81 seconds, a smart time on a track rated a slow 7.

Later the track was upgraded to a slow 6.


ONE of the more surprised people on course after the win by Torio’s Delight in The Happy Tooth Muswellbrook Class Three (1000m) was the gelding’s trainer, Jan Bowen.

“I did not expect this, I thought he needed this run,” she said.

“He is a nice horse, but he is tender in the feet and I think he appreciated the soft track.

“I don’t have a plan yet because I didn’t expect this win.”

Torio’s Delight (Greg Ryan) was one of the first to jump but Ryan eased him back to be mid-field before going to the centre of the track on the turn.

Torio’s Delight ($6.50) sprinted quickly over the last 100m to win by three quarters of a length from the $26 chance Real Classic.

The odds-on favourite With Purpose was prominent to the turn but faded to finish fifth.

Torio’s Delight was bred by Bowen and is the first foal from the Quest For Fame mare Norbows Delight.

Bowen later sold a yearling filly by So You Think from the same mare for $240,000 and that filly, She’s So Sassy, is now with John Sargent at Randwick.

Bowen retained a 10 per cent share.

“John likes her a lot and she is due to trial this week,” Bowen said.

“He is a big, solid filly with a big stride.”


NEWCASTLE trainer David Atkins completed a big weekend when Kulnura (Darryl McLellan) won the Two Rivers Wines Class Three (1450m).

The day before at Rosehill, the Atkins-trained Jonker ran third to Lean Mean Machine in the Group Two Run To The Rose (1200m), beaten a length which saw the three-year-old return to his earlier form which saw him win the Magic Millions Two-Year-Old at Wyong last December.

Kulnura ($4.40) was one of the best away but McLellan allowed him to settle back in fourth place before going to the lead in the straight to win by one and a quarter-lengths from Aberration (Rachael King).


HIGH Rush, a small mare that cost only $7000 at a Scone yearling sale, took her record to two wins and two seconds from seven starts and more than $36,000 in prizemoney when she snared The Remington Motor Inn Benchmark 58 (1750m).

And, the manner in which she won suggests she will get further.

“She is only small but she is tough,” trainer Jason Deamer said.

“She is also very flighty and a bit of a pest around the stable.

“She was one of the last lots sold at that sale and while she was only small I liked her breeding and there was not much interest in her so I bought her.

“This is the first time I have tried her over this distance but I always thought she would get over ground because of that breeding.”

High Rush is by High Chaparral from the unraced Irish bred Danehill mare Rushing Wind.

Jockey Chad Lever settled High Rush ($6) in second place behind the leader Apache Lad to the turn.

As soon as they straightened Lever took her to the lead and she went on to win by two and three-quarter lengths from Dynamic Dynasty.

Lever was back in the winner’s circle in the following race, the last, when the Bjorn Baker-trained Highly Desired won the Morgan and English Commercial Lawyers Class One (1280m).

That made it two starts for successive wins after Highly Desired won his maiden at Nowra two weeks earlier.

Lever again settled Highly Desired, the ($3.80 fav), in second place early before going on to win by one and a half lengths from Pompous.