By Duane Ranger
Geldings don’t leave progeny, but Saturday night’s winner of the first race at Albion Park, A Good Chance, will still sire two foals later in the year.
Just on a year ago Redcliffe horseman, Donny Smith had the Group One winner gelded.
“We took 54 straws off him and had them frozen just before he was gelded. He was such a terrific naturally gaited racehorse. He’s been a pleasure since day one, and that’s why we thought he was worth preserving," he said.
“When he went to the breakers they said it felt like he had already been broken in. He really took to the pacing game, and we are sure his progeny will too.
“He’s actually standing at stand for $500."
The 7-year-old son of Mr Feelgood has two quality mares in foal. The first is the $42,000 purchase (top lot) from the 2015 Redcliffe Yearling Sale, Burwood Beauty.
“She only had four starts and then she had to retired as a 3-year-old because she did a tendon in a fence accident. The mare also has a Gotta Go Cullect weanling filly,” Smith said.
The second is $60,000 APG Melbourne Yearling Sale purchase (2015) Early Harvest.
“That mare never raced either, but was she has already left two foals. She is out of the same dam (Contrapan) as Border Control, who won the NZ Derby and Jewels Final as a 3-year-old for Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen” Smith said.
Saturday’s head-victory over Jossie James and Adam Sanderson in the $13,000 TAB Band Five C4 and Faster Pace was A Good Chance’s 23rd triumph in 106 starts.
The Group One 2015 QBRED 3yo Triad champion has also placed 26 times and banked $242,826 since making his winning debut at Albion Park on March 11, 2014.
Smith said the black and brown gelding finally had the running of a race go his way.
“He’s been having to do a lot of the donkey work from out in front or near the speed, so it was great to finally see him win from coming back in the field," he said.
“After he finished fourth at Albion Park the week before Matty Elkins told me when he got off the horse he would go 1:51 if I lined him up in a mile.
“How good was that prediction? He went 1:51.9. It was a great drive by Peter (McMullen) who was replacing Matty, who was suspended."
A Good Chance drew 10 and the 26.9 first quarter suited his racing style down to the ground. The second, third and fourth quarters of 29.5, 27.6, and 27.9 ensured a 1:55.4 gross time for the 1,660 mobile.
Smith said that of the 20 he was working on the Redcliffe track, Slice Of Heaven and A Good Chance were his top two horses.
Meanwhile the open pace – the $22,000 Remembering Promises 2,138m mobile was won by the Chantal McMullen trained and driven Watch Pulp Fiction.
The Art Major entire led all of the way from barrier one, and in doing so notched up his 22nd career win in 79 starts. The 7-year-old has also placed 17 times, recorded a 1:51.4 mile, and banked $224,037.
“We have had him for about two years now and although he’s taken a little while to work out, he’s now on top of his game and going really well," McMullen said.
“We got away with an easy lead and then when he wasn’t really pressured in the race I thought we would have the final quarter sprint to win."
The other highlight event of the night – the $11,000 Australian Pacing Gold Heat for the 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings was taken out by the Grant Dixon trained and Adam Sanderson driven, Albion Ark.
In fact it was a Dixon benefit. The Tamborine horseman trained the first four home in that ninth race. He had seven of the nine starters, with the two other runners finishing fifth and ninth.
"He cruised it in front. That was easy," said Adam Sanderson, who drove Albion Ark to a 1.8m win. That was the Mach Three gelding’s second victory in three starts.