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Injured Thomas shines in first 2yo race of season


By Duane Ranger

Facial reconstruction which required plates and pins in his face didn’t stop Logan Village horseman, Murray Thomas, from training the first 2-year-old winner at Albion Park yesterday (Tuesday).

Thomas was injured in an accident that he did not want to elaborate on in November. He said he had been unable to fast-work his horses since then. That’s when fellow horseman, Rob Gorman stepped up to the plate.

“Rob’s been my mainstay and without him I don’t know where I would have been, and I doubt whether I would have got my 2-year-olds to the races as soon as what they have. I am extremely grateful to him,” Thomas said.

Thomas had two of the five starters in yesterday’s $8,000 Burwood Stud 2yo Pace. Onlysbest and Nathan Dawson won the 1,660m mobile by 1.5m. Stablemate, One Hellava Party and Gorman finished fifth after breaking.

“My mate, Dennis Towell, and I bought them both at last year’s Redcliffe Yearling Sale. Dennis had a limit on Onlysbest, but I told him to keep going when his limit was reached.

“In the end we paid $6,500 for him and $2,000 for One Hellava Party. They are totally different horses. The ‘Jolt’ (One Hellava Party) is a lot smaller, and has a real turn of foot. There’s not much between them at this stage.

“But I must say every time Onlysbest has stepped out he has got stronger and bolder. He is a bit stronger than the other one at this stage.

“He just keeps improving. We thought he might go close. Dennis, who is a $5 punter, put $100 to win him, and for him that amount of money is unheard of,” Thomas said.

Onlysbest was the $3 second favourite.

The Cammibest – Only Ours colt drew two and trailed Typhoon Torque and Peter McMullen before Dawson nabbed them along the passing lane.

Onlysbest stopped the clock in 2:04 (mile rate 2:00.2). His sectionals were 29.5, 32..5, 29.5, and 29.1.

“He really stretched out well in the final stages, and he will obviously be better for the run. The other one will get stronger too. They are both ‘bulls’ and I haven’t gelded them yet.

“They aren’t full of themselves yet, so I’ll hold off. I’m working seven and potentially yesterday’s winner is the best of them,” 57-year-old Thomas said.

Onlysbest was bred by Ross Patrick, while Monarch Farm bred One Hellava Party.

Onlysbest is the eighth of nine foals out of the deceased and unraced 2001 Albert Albert – Only Torado (by Torado Hanover) mare, Only Ours.

Foal one, a 2005 John Street North gelding named North Royal, was her most successful foal winning 20 races and just over $108,000.

“I never used to be into the ‘Cammibests’, but this one really took my eye at the Sales, and that’s why I wanted Dennis to bid higher. Looking at the stats the stallion has done a good job and continues to do so.

“I’m delighted with where he’s at. He and his stablemate will keep racing here, with the Redcliffe Group One $100,000 race later in the season (June 27) their main goal,” said Thomas, who has held a trainer’s licence since he was 16.