Owner-breeder Michael Bliss was part of the biggest roar Doomben has heard for many months when Goodonja Sonja returned to the winners’ list on Saturday.
As COVID-restrictions continue to allow more people on course, Doomben was buzzing on Saturday, a far cry from the eerie silence participants experienced through the late autumn and winter.
And in the shape of Goodonja Sonja, the big cheer squad were all singing to the same delirious chorus as Justin Huxtable drove the Lindsay Gough-trained mare past the well-backed favourite Oh Five Glory.
Bliss races Goodonja Sonja with a big team of friends, including footy mates from back in the 1970s.
Breeder Michael Bliss celebrated Goodonja Sonja’s seventh win. Picture: Trackside PhotographySource:The Courier-Mail
She’s a special horse to Bliss, who has enjoyed a host of wins with progeny of the Telesto mare Glittering Affair, but each win means even more now.
“I lost the mare last spring,” Bliss said. “For two years I couldn’t get her in foal so I thought I would find a good home for her. I gave her to a guy who got her in foal and I couldn’t believe it, but she lost the foal and lost her life. It was just shattering to lose her. She meant so much to us and had given us so many thrills.”
Goodonja Sonja’s seventh career win was the 18th success Bliss and his fellow owners have enjoyed with Glittering Affair’s offspring.
The best was Heza Bobby Dazzler, who won six races, but was plagued by injury.
“Bobby was so special, he had issues all the way through. But there was another one, Coach Carter and I think he was better than Bobby (but only had two starts). I often think what might have been with him,” he said.
“Lindsay has done a great job with the family to win that many races. I’ve got one left. Serene Affair is the last one out of the family and she’s a big unit, she’s like Bobby.”
CAVANOUGH HAS LAST LAUGH
Craig Cavanough, assistant trainer to Tony Gollan, has had to put up with a few jibes about looking similar to movie character “Joe Dirt” since he had his sides cropped for charity recently, but he’s having the last laugh at the moment.
The faux mullet came about because of a charity pledge for the rehoming of retired racehorses and has raised more than $2000.
Craig Cavanough raised more than $2000 for charity with his ‘Joe Dirt’ hairstyle. Picture: Trackside PhotographySource:The Courier-Mail
Cavanough had been copping a ribbing from Gollan and stable jock Baylee Nothdurft about his losing sequence for the popular ‘Cav’s Corner’ charity bet segment in Gollan’s weekly Final Gallop preview, but Saturday’s all up of Sugar Boom and Mass Destruction made it four consecutive winning weeks for Cav.
“I’ve got a bit of ammunition to fire at them next week,” he said.
His best each way, Seeingisbelieving, also lobbed.
Mind you, it would have been hard to miss Saturday, as the stable landed four winners.
It was a big day for the family, with Cavanough’s cousin Brett leading in the $1.3m Kosciusko winner It’s Me.
Paul Shailer needed just one word to describe the reason He Runs Away has blossomed in recent weeks in the wake of him notching his second win in succession on Saturday.
“Confidence,” Shailer said.
“People underestimate how important that is for horses.
“I think sometimes they can just go through the motions. He’s come up here and gradually built his confidence.”
Paul Shailer was delighted with He Runs Away’s win at Doomben. Picture: Trackside PhotographySource:The Courier-Mail
He Runs Away was no match for Fastnet Cyclone three starts back at the Gold Coast, but the turnaround in the pair’s fortunes was far more significant than the 1kg weight swing.
He Runs Away hadn’t won since 2016 when he broke through at Eagle Farm on October 3 and now he’s strung two together.
Shailer said the removal of ear muffs had been a turning point.
“That was a significant gear change. He’s a really quirky horse. Mark (Du Plessis) said he was a really difficult horse to ride when he first got here,” Shailer said.
MELODY ON SONG AGAIN
It got a little lost in all The Everest and Caulfield Cup excitement, but Melody Belle notched the rare feat of winning her 12th Group 1 race at Hastings on Saturday.
The decision to head back home to New Zealand has been a fruitful one for Te Akau Racing, with the Commands mare winning back-to-back Group 1s after flopping in the Winx Stakes at Randwick in August.
GUN MARE IN RARE AIR
What penalty – if any – will Verry Elleegant receive for her win in the Caulfield Cup?
Carrying 55kg to Caulfield Cup success is already rare air for a mare. It eclipses the 54.5kg carried by Mannerism in 1992 and is just short of Tranquil Star’s 56kg equivalent in 1942.
From a Melbourne Cup point of view, Makybe Diva carried 55.5kg and 58kg in her second and third wins and then the weight carrying benchmark for a mare in that race falls away to 53.5kg for 1988 winner Empire Rose.
What a MARE!
Verry Elleegant is the Caulfield Cup hero for 2020! pic.twitter.com/Rl8Z6lzJtC
GOOD THINGS COME IN THREE FOR GEORGIE
Georgina Cartwright had her biggest day at the office since making the move to Queensland with a winning treble for boss Tony Gollan on Sugar Boom, Seeingisbelieving and Royal Hale at Doomben on Saturday.
Cartwright only has a short time to run on her apprenticeship and decided to see out the final months with the Gollan stable.
Having won on Run For Glory and Le Palmier at the Gold Coast and Toowoomba metro Saturday meetings, she notched her first Doomben winner on Sugar Boom before adding the other two.
Cartwright had ridden trebles in Adelaide and Melbourne and now has Brisbane to add to that list.
“I’m really enjoying it. I’ve been here a month now and just started to get going. My boss Tony Gollan is giving me a lot of opportunities,” Cartwright said.
“I’m starting to settle in, get to know everyone. It’s a little bit different up here compared to Victoria, they don’t race quite as much, but I’m starting to adjust.
“I came into today being pretty confident.”
Georgina Cartwright rode three winners at Doomben on Saturday. Picture: Trackside PhotographySource:The Courier-Mail
Cartwright had little time to celebrate the feat, having taken three rides at last night’s Toowoomba meeting.
The win on Royal Hale wasn’t without its drama, with a bird striking Cartwright on the head as the field turned into the straight.
Gollan is currently holidaying and assistant trainer Craig Cavanough was more than happy to step into the role of stable spokesman.
Cavanough said Sugar Boom was a different horse this preparation, with everything going perfectly in the lead-up to her first up win.
Sugar Boom was rolled first-up last prep and was then not far away in two stakes races before being turned out again. Cavanough said she had a few little niggling problems last time in, but no such worries this time around.
Two of the more consistent horses in southeast Queensland of recent months, Top Prospect and Catesby, were finally rewarded for their efforts with their respective wins yesterday.
Top Prospect was gifted a perfect run by Sean Cormack off his inside draw and similarly, Luke Dittman was able to provide Catesby with a sweet trail.
Originally published asGoodonja Mick, Sonja’s win just pure Bliss
Source: Read Full Article