PORT Macquarie’s leading trainer Neil Godbolt upset a plunge with “future in doubt” four-year-old mare Bengal Angel winning at good odds at Taree-Wingham Race Club’s TAB meeting at Bushland Drive Racecourse, Taree, on Friday.
Bengal Angel (19-2) was under threat of being sent to the breeding barn or the paddock but redeemed herself with an all-the-way win in the Bushland Tavern Bottleshop Benchmark 65 over 1300m.
“She saved herself and may continue racing,” he said of the win, her fifth and first beyond 1200m.
Resuming Port four-year-old gelding Falklands, trained by Marc Quinn, was backed as though unbeatable, considering its city and provincial form, from 7-4 to 5-4 but could only manage third, a half a length behind runner-up, nine-year-old Cuban Dancer , trained at Port by Ken Faulds.
Falklands looked a picture but was probably outsprinted as the gelding is better known for its deeds over longer distances and should not be sacked by punters.
Godbolt said his mare’s win was probably due to Coffs Harbour jockey Raymond Spokes being able to get away with some cheap sectionals.
“Her only hope was to be left alone as she can get lost in the field.
“She may have lost her early brilliance and it was good to see she found something in the run home,” he said.
Spokes said he made sure the mare wasn’t stirred up before the race and he was then able to be left alone in front.
Although punters got off on the wrong side in this race,some good plunges were brought off in a few of the races.
Five-year-old Gosford mare Soaring Miss landed one of them,firming from 15-4 to 10-9, in scoring by a neck for trainer Angela Davies (who wasn’t trackside) and Gosford apprentice jockey Jenny Duggan in the All Pro-The Service Providers Fillies & Mares Maiden Plate over 1250m on the dead rated track.
Part-owner Ron Puiatti said the mare,bought at the Scone Sales, had suffered from hoof problems early in her career but was now showing her worth.
“She has come good and I think she will a few more,” he said.
Broadmeadow trainer Kris Lees had a winning double with Round’n’rounditgos, ridden by Newcastle jockey Andrew Gibbons and Wheeo, a mount for Newcastle hoop Dale Spriggs, both gallopers heavily backed.
Round’n’rounditgos (9-2 to 5-2) got a dream run from 10th right along the fence to score easily by two lengths in the Bushland Tavern Social Club Maiden Plate over 1250m.
“I never thought I would be so far back but on the corner I got a lovely run tracking up on the inside,” Gibbons said.
Four-year-old mare Wheeo (5-1) was given a great ride by Spriggs to come from an outside barrier to be given the trail just behind the leader to score by a length in the Bushland Tavern Country Class 1 Plate over 1600m.
“She has gate speed and showed determination in her battle right down the straight,” Spriggs said.
Away gallopers fared well with seven-year-old Tamworth gelding Old Drover (6-1), trained by Stephen Dixon and ridden by Cessnock jockey Robert Thompson, coming from the tail of the field to score a solid win over some better fancied gallopers in the BMJ Mining & Engineering Benchmark 60 Handicap over 2000m.
Most winners were coming from near the fence whereas Old Drover showed the middle of the track was okay in collaring favourite Sydney’s Brigante (11-4, finished third) at the top of the straight with Coffs Harbour gelding Cinquacasino (4-1)flashing home for second, beaten 1.25 lengths.