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Joseph Stable Rocks Gundagai

Returning from a five month spell, Rockorada has put in a powerful finishing burst to record his first career win in the Maiden Handicap over 1000m at Gundagai. It was a good performance by the 4yo Rock Of Gibraltar gelding who only just managed to sneak into the field. Being the fourth emergency, Rockorada had to rely on the withdrawal of a number of horses just to get a start. In the end, he got the four scratchings required to obtain a start, and took full advantage. Later in the day, Spirit Soul also put in a good performance for the stable, running a very close up third in her race.

Rockorada was guided around the tricky Gundagai circuit by apprentice jockey Ben Moffat, who got him into a forward position early. Content to sit just off the leading division, Moffat concentrated on navigating Rockorada safely around the tight track, before working his way through the field and giving the gelding clear galloping room to unleash his run in the home straight. Moffat had given Rockorada a good ride up to that point, and it was now up to Rockorada to produce at the business end of the race. He certainly didn't disappoint, accelerating quickly to strike the lead and hold off all challengers late. The most serious of those challengers was Zar Express who came at Rockorada very strongly over the concluding stages, but Rockorada had done enough to claim victory. Although the margin was only a head, it was a well deserved victory for Rockorada who looked the winner for most of the home straight.

Rockorada was syndicated by Dynamic Syndications and commenced his racing career in Victoria, before making his way up to Canberra in early 2009. He ran a good third on debut for the Joseph stable at Albury, and despite not filling the placings in his three subsequent runs that preparation, he was never too far away from the winner. A good spell over the winter months has seen the Rock Of Gibraltar gelding return in fine fettle this time in, and having broken through first up, he will now look to build on his record in the remainder of this preparation.

Rather Be Ashes Burns Them Off

Rather Be Ashes has produce a tenacious fighting display to break through for his first career win. The victory came in the Maiden Handicap over 1460m at Queanbeyan. It was a much deserved win for Rather Be Ashes, who prior to this victory, had been placed in three of his previous five career starts.

The 1460m start at Queanbeyan is one of the more tricky starts in racing, given they jump and start turning straight away. Therefore, drawing the widest barrier in a field of 14 definitely doesn't enhance your prospects of a good result, but jockey Brendan Ward was able to overcome this inconvenience by firing Rather Be Ashes out of the gates and going straight to the lead within the first 200m of the race. From there Rather Be Ashes came back under Ward nicely, and was able to conserve enough energy for a decent kick in the home straight. That's exactly how it panned out, but the big moment in the race was going to be the final stages, where horses who had enjoyed easier runs would come off Rather Be Ashes' back. Try as they might though, they couldn't run down the 3yo Noverre gelding, who simply refused to throw in the towel. He kept kicking and tried all the way to the line, in the end deserving to hold the narrow margin of victory.

Rather Be Ashes had one race start back in February 2009, running a respectable third at Moruya. Satisfied that he'd learnt enough in his educational preparation he was then put out for a spell, and has been racing consistently this preparation without winning. On this occasion though he managed to get his number in the frame, and his next challenge will be to continue doing that in higher class races.

Bright Future Beckons Onaclearday

Onaclearday has broken through for his maiden victory in the 3yo Maiden Plate over 1400m at Wagga. The Not A Single Doubt gelding had shown some ability at his previous two starts, but the addition of blinkers have assisted him enough to focus on the task at hand to record a most impressive victory at Wagga.

With the experienced Nick Souquet in the saddle Onaclearday was allowed to drift back in the early stages to find his feet. He ended up settling in second last position but was travelling well within himself. As the field thundered around the home turn, Souquet then made his move on Onaclearday, circling the field to be the widest runner in the home straight. At the 300m mark, Onaclearday was still towards the tail of the field, and Souquet was having a bit of a battle getting the youngster to go straight. However, despite having his head to one side and wanting to lay in, Onaclearday had plenty of class on his opposition, and rattled past them very quickly. After appearing to have a few anxious moments at the 300m mark, the gelding had the race well within his keeping by the 100m mark, and in the end he won by a widening four length margin on the line.

Onaclearday made his debut back in February 2009 in the Lightening Ridge Handicap at Canberra, where he ran on solidly from the back of the field to finish fifth. After a break he resumed and didn't have much luck at Kembla Grange, but still put in a commendable effort to run fifth again. He still did a few things wrong and proved a bit of a handful to control at Wagga, but it was encouraging to see him put the result on the board, and in such an emphatic fashion as well. With more race experience and natural progression, he should be able iron out some of his deficiencies and continue to improve, making him an ominous prospect for future rivals.

Louisianna Flyer Wins the Tony Campbell Memorial Cup

Louisianna Flyer has recorded the biggest win of his 33 start career, but for his owners in the Joseph Racing No.3 Syndicate, it was a victory very much worth waiting for. The 6yo Flying Spur gelding took out the feature race on Canberra's Acton Track, the Tony Campbell Memorial Cup over 1280m. It was a special win for Barbara who was a long time friend of the voice of Canberra racing, Tony Campbell. Louisianna Flyer's stablemates Catch The Light and Kept On Ice nearly joined him in the winner's stall, running 2nd and 3rd respectively in an earlier race on the card.

This day however, belonged to Louisianna Flyer. The gelding has been a bit tardy out of the barriers this preparation, but having had the experience of riding him at his previous start, apprentice jockey Ben Moffat was able to get him out and into a good position in midfield. From there he was always travelling well and when he started tracking into the race nicely on the home turn, his connections started thinking about getting excited. By the time Louisianna Flyer got a beautiful run through the field and hit the lead halfway down the straight, his owners weren't thinking about it anymore, they were very excited and cheering him home every stride over the final furlong. His nemesis last start, Zarvista, looked like he may issue some sort of late challenge, but Louisianna Flyer was doing enough, and held Zarvista in the run to the line. In the end, Louisianna Flyer had a length to spare on Zarvista who had its chance.

It had been a long time between drinks for Louisianna Flyer who hadn't won since January 2008. While he hadn't won in a while, during that period he would occasionally throw in a run indicating that the ability was still there, and his owners have remained hopeful throughout the journey. Their patience was rewarded on this occasion with a feature race win on his home track. It now takes Louisianna Flyer's overall race record to 33 starts, 6 wins, 7 placings, and around $87,000 in prizemoney. That's not to mention the enormous amount of fun he has provided to his numerous owners and supporters.

Divine Performance by The Pope's Choice

Having his first attempt at 2000m has proven a raging success for The Pope's Choice, who hit the line full of running and charged away for a big win in the Rating 64 Handicap at Queanbeyan.

Ridden by Roly Saxton, The Pope's Choice was given plenty of time to find his feet and was allowed to drift back to the tail of the small field. The Pope's Choice then relaxed beautifully during the middle stages of the event, and gave himself every chance to run out the 2000m strongly. Having been content to follow the field around for the majority of the race, Saxton simply couldn't hold the 5yo Rhythm gelding back any longer, and on the point of the home turn he ranged up three wide to join the lead, still under a good hold. Saxton then released the brakes on The Pope's Choice in the home straight, and he quickly put a few lengths on his opposition and put the issue beyond doubt. He cruised over the final furlong, and eased up he won by three and half lengths on the line.

It was an impressive performance by The Pope's Choice, and even though it may not have been the strongest quality race, he certainly gave every indication that he lapped up the extra distance. Also, given it was only his fourth run in this time he still has a potentially long preparation in front of him, and one that could prove to be very exciting for his connections over the longer trips.

Jahzara Breaks Through at Queanbeyan

Jahzara's first run as a 3yo has resulted in her first career win, with a gritty performance in the Fillies and Mares Maiden Plate over 1100m at Queanbeyan. Forever Canny nearly joined her stablemate in the winner's circle, running second in her race. It's the filly's second placing in three career starts so her turn might not be far away.

Ridden by Michael Travers, Jahzara got away quickly from the barriers and was able to lob into a nice position early. During the middle stages of the event Travers had the filly travelling nicely and close enough to strike. Soon after straightening Jahzara was then asked for the supreme effort and she dashed up along the inside to put herself well into the picture. There were a number of horses making their moves down the outside as well however, in particular Canadian Kimi who was coming home at a rate of knots. Both horses matched motors and were giving it all they had over the concluding stages, hitting the line together. It was a very tight finish and the judge took a little bit of time to separate them, but when he did, he found a slight margin to Jahzara.

Jahzara had two runs as a 2yo, finishing third in the Black Opal Qualifier in November 2008 before running a respectable eighth in the Black Opal itself in March 2009 to the very promising Gary Portelli youngster, Delago Bolt. Another break after the Black Opal has seen the Johannesburg filly return in top order, highlighted by this win at Queanbeyan. She should also improve with this run under her belt and could well be one to watch in the coming months.

Another Win for Follow The Command

Follow The Command has recorded his ninth career win with a tenacious display in the Rating 72 Handicap over 1200m at Wagga. The 7yo warrior has a good affinity with the Wagga circuit with this being his third win at the course.

Throughout his long and distinguished career Follow The Command has run his best races when able to lead. Jockey Nick Souquet was keen to find the front in this event but unfortunately the jockey on Chief Chargingbear rode her horse with urgency and was also desperate to find the early lead. After a brief battle Souquet thought better of getting into a two horse war and instead elected to sit just off Chief Chargingbear. Both horses maintained these positions in transit but as the field negotiated the home turn and straightened up for the run to the post, Follow The Command moved up ominously. He wasn't the only one however, and at the 200m mark there were five horses all stretched across the track, and all with a winning hope. At this stage it was going to be the horse who wanted it most, and Follow The Command kept giving plenty over the final stages. The 7yo Commands gelding got himself a little break, and despite favourite Trescorpioni coming at him very strongly in the shadows of the post, Follow The Command was able to find enough under pressure to hold him off in a driving finish.

Under various ownership Follow The Command has been with the Joseph stable his entire racing career, stretching back nearly five years. In that time he has been a very honest performer, winning nine of his 40 race starts, and accumulating around $80,000 in prizemoney - a respectable record for any racehorse. Despite getting on in years now he still seems to have a keen zest for racing, and all the indications are that he will continue to give his connections a lot of enjoyment into the future.

Monzero Breaks His Maiden Status

The addition of blinkers appear to have done the trick for Monzero, who fought on tenaciously to record his first career win in the Maiden Plate over 1200m at Wagga. The stable were unlucky not to have a second winner on the day with Clear Cat hitting the line solidly to run third, despite enduring a very tough run.

Starting from the inside gate, Monzero was driven out of the barriers in search of the early lead. The favourite for the event, Explosive Kiss, also had a look for the lead but jockey Robyn Freeman was keen to hold the advantage on Monzero and kept punching up along the rails. After a brief battle Explosive Kiss surrendered and allowed Freeman on Monzero to control the tempo. The 3yo Danzero gelding certainly appreciated being the pacesetter, and travelled very kindly out in front. However, Explosive Kiss continued to stalk him in transit and was always going to be the main danger. As they charged down the home straight, Monzero and Explosive Kiss got well away from their other rivals, and they settled down to fight it out. Heading into the final furlong it appeared as though Explosive Kiss was travelling a little bit better than Monzero, and actually got his nose in front, but showing the fight that had been lacking in his previous starts, Monzero picked himself up and raised another effort. Kicking back strongly on the inside Monzero was able to outgun his more fancied rival in the final few strides to claim a narrow victory.

Monzero had been well in the market in his first three race starts, but for one reason or another he had not figured in any finishes. A gear change with the addition of blinkers, race experience, and being ridden on the pace all seem to have contributed to a change in fortunes, and hopefully now Monzero can take this form into higher class races.



In this Section
Spirit Soul
Rather Be Ashes
Louisianna Flyer
Catch The Light
Kept On Ice
The Pope's Choice
Forever Canny
Follow The Command

Clear Cat

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