By Glenn Davis
Iron horse Bodega Negra smashed a 14-month losing streak to book a start in next month’s Toowoomba Cup with an upset win at Doomben on Saturday.
Bodega Negra powered home to down Rock On Ivy by three-quarters of a length in the Mandate Open Handicap (1630m).
The minor placing was filled by My Diamantine who was only a nose away.
Bodega Negra’s win was his ninth in 71 starts and his first since scoring at the Gold Coast on January 7 last year.
The seven-year-old’s win also ended his Doomben hoodoo with his first victory from 22 previous starts at the track since saluting in a Class Six in April, 2015.
Trainer Bruce Hill has never lost faith in Bodega Negra and was confident of victory when track conditions deteriorated during the week.
“I’ve been saying for a long time all he needed was a wet track,” Hill said.
“He’s been a great old horse for us and is tough as nails.
“I had him in the winter races last year but never got the right conditions and the same happened in the summer.
“He’s now won almost $500,000 in prizemoney so it would be nice to win a feature.”
Hill believes the Toowoomba Cup (2000m) at Clifford Park on April 7 looks the logical next start for Bodega Negra.
Meanwhile the Tony Gollan stable predicted a bright future for Shamurt following her impressive win in the Mandate QTIS Two-Year-Old Handicap (1200m).
Ridden by Jim Byrne, Shamurt dug deep to fight back to down Grand De Lago by a half neck.
Gollan watched the win from Sydney where he was saddling up Ef Troop in the Golden Slipper Stakes at Rosehill.
Stable foreman Hollie Williams said Gollan had a good opinion of the daughter of Murtajill who won a barrier trial at Doomben last week going into her debut.
“She’s still a little raw but she’s only going to improve with maturity,” Williams said.
Gollan, who also has Outback Barbie in Sydney for the autumn, will see how Shamurt recovers before deciding whether to push on to the Brisbane winter carnival.
Racing Queensland webnews March 24