BRETT Cavanough’s lightly-raced three-year-old Legion Of Boom took another step towards next year’s Country Championship with his victory in the Godolphin Class One (1450m) at Muswellbrook on Friday.
“This win ticked a few boxes for us and we learned a bit more about the horse,” the Scone mentor said.
“We know he can handle the sting out of the ground, he can run 1400m and he can come from behind.
“You never stop learning about these horses.”
Legion Of Boom will now head back to Aquis Stud in Queensland for a spell before Cavanough starts his preparation towards the autumn.
Aquis owns him outright and paid only $42,000 for the son of Duporth from the Redoute’s Choice mare Baby Boom, a winner at the Sunshine Coast and Wyong.
The horse has had only four starts for a debut third at Newcastle, a maiden win at Scone, a luckless second at Newcastle and this triumph.
“He is one of the better horses in the stable and the Country Championship is the obvious target given the prize money that is on offer,” Cavanough said.
“I put blinkers on him today to get him to concentrate and it worked and I might have to put a tongue tie on him when he comes back.
“I noticed when he went past me that he had his tongue out.”
Grant Buckley, who has ridden Legion Of Boom at his past three starts, let him settle back to third last early then worked around the field, came down the centre of the track and won by one-and three- quarter lengths from Supreme Streak.
FOXDOWN is also headed for the Country Championship following his impressive win, first up, in the Remington Motor Inn Benchmark 66 (1280m) for trainer Gayna Williams.
Foxdown, ridden by Grant Buckley, was strong through the line at his first run since finishing seventh at Dubbo last June.
Despite that he opened favourite and was well-backed, something which surprised the trainer.
“He had never won first up before but his trial was good and I gave him a jump out a week ago to top him off,” Williams said.
“He has always been a nice horse but has taken a long time to mature, as this breed do.
“After Dubbo I gave him a long spell and it has been the making of him.
“He will have one more run then will go for a short break and we will get him ready for the championship.”
Foxdown settled mid-field with Grass Cutter (Wendy Peel) careering away to set up a big lead to the turn.
Buckley gradually edged forward, went to the centre of the track and quickly made ground to go away and win by a length from He’s Our Toy Boy.
THE Bjorn Baker-trained Star Of O’Reilly ($4.80) scored an impressive win, on debut, in the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale Maiden (1000m) and gave jockey Ben Looker his first winner from his first ride for the stable.
Star Of O’Reilly, a $260,000 yearling buy, strolled to the line to prevail by three lengths from Thorn Brook with the $2.70 favourite Marawaka missing the start and finishing sixth.
Looker was impressed with the win.
“He is a lovely horse and he has a serious motor under the bonnet,” Looker said.
“As we were cantering to the start he gave me the feeling of a really good horse.
“He jumped well, pulled himself to the outside of the leader and I really did not have to do a lot.
“He is still green and learning but he is a big strong horse and I think he has a big future.”
SIMON Casey was drawn to Cash Factor when he saw him parade at a Scone yearling sale because of his long stride.
“He was only small but I thought with the long stride like that he would grow,” Casey said.
‘Unfortunately, he didn’t grow.”
Despite his lack of size, Cash Factor has been in the money at three of his five starts and finally broke through when he led all the way to win the Two Rivers Wines Maiden (1000m) and brought off some nice bets after being backed from $2.60 to start the $1.95 favourite.
“He is a bit of a lad and I love him to bits,” Casey said.
“He needs the pony to take him to the start otherwise he would do two laps of the tracks
“I broke him in and when I rode him he felt like a big horse because of the length of his stride.”
Apprentice Reece Jones was happy to let him work to the lead from his wide barrier and drift wide on the turn.
He still maintained a slight lead but over the last 100m took control to beat Miss Eimar by three quarters of a length.
GREG Ryan was surprised by the way Spirit Of Kildare got to the front with her win in the Great Northern Super Crisp Lager Maiden (1280m) for Warwick Farm trainer Matthew Smith.
“She was slow to begin and get going and I was further back than I planned,” Ryan said.
“She looked dour on her previous run at Kembla Grange so I thought I had better get going on her.
“However, she surprised me with her sprint and I got to the front earlier than I planned.
“She is going to win her fair share of races.”
The filly was having only her second start after a debut third at Kembla on a heavy track.
Ryan was content to let Spirit Of Kildare ($3) settle worse than mid field and on the outside of other horses and was the widest runner on the turn.
He finished down the centre of the track to beat the $2.10 favourite Mystic Hill by half a length.
THE Tamworth-trained Call Me Brad scored his second successive victory in this preparation when he came from a long way back early to win the Pumps and Pipeline Services Benchmark 58 (900m) and give apprentice Wendy Peel her first winner from her first ride for the stable.
Trainer Lesley Jeffries believes a lengthy spell has been the key to the horse turning his form around.
Last preparation he had 15 starts for two wins early into the campaign but then lost form.
“I gave him four months off and he came back very well,” Jeffries said.
“He has a big group of owners and we have always thought he was a nice horse and he is certainly going well.”
Call Me Brad resumed with a win at Quirindi with Leanne Henry in the saddle but Peel took over to give him some relief from his top weight of 60kg.
He was slow to start but Peel let him find his feet then circled the field and came home down the outside to win by a long neck from Princess Snowy.
JOCKEYS spent much of the meeting staying away from the inside but Andrew Gibbons unwittingly proved that there was nothing wrong with the rails when the Kris Lees-trained Dundee Lee won the Vancouver First Yearlings @ Coolmore Class One (1450m).
“I ended up three back on the fence and coming to the turn I wanted to get off but I couldn’t,” Gibbons said.
“I was stuck on the fence but it was OK and he was very strong to the line.
“He is a promising horse and the blinkers on today helped him to concentrate.”
Despite that it was a good ride from Gibbons to have the son of Dundeel over from his wide barrier to be on the rails after the first 400m.
“It is the shortest way home,” foreman Mal Ollerton said.
Dundee Lee ($2.80) went on to win by one-and-three quarter lengths from Something Shocking with the $2.10 favourite Fille Volante fourth after racing wide the whole way.
THE trip from Dubbo to Muswellbrook for Garry Lunn proved fruitful with the trainer winning the Wallerawang Engineering Benchmark 58 (1750m) with Bemboka (Rachael Murray) and running second with Unresolved (Wendy Peel).
It also proved a lucky pick up ride for Murray.
“Josh Adams was supposed to ride him but never made it to the meeting for some reason and Rachael said she was happy to take the ride,” Lunn said.
“We have had a fair bit of luck together.
“This horse is the better stayer of the two while Unresolved is a better 1600m horse.”
Bemboka is now the winner of two races from 12 starts with his other victory over 2000m.
Lunn may now head to Newcastle on the suggestion of Murray and keep him to big tracks.
Murray had Bemboka back last early on the rails and stayed on the inside in the straight to work to the lead and win by a length from his stable mate.