Age proves no barrier as 11yo powers to win

DOMINANT EFFORT: Papa Camelot stretches out for a drought-breaking win at Wagga on Tuesday night. Picture: Kieren L Tilly
DOMINANT EFFORT: Papa Camelot stretches out for a drought-breaking win at Wagga on Tuesday night. Picture: Kieren L Tilly

Papa Camelot wound back the clock with an impressive win at Wagga on Tuesday night.

The 11-year-old scored his first win in more than two years with a tough effort to take out the Union Club Hotel Pace (2165m).

Sitting without cover for the majority of the race, Papa Camelot still had plenty in reverse to power away in the home straight.

The $2.30 chance went on to defeat Mitayorbelle ($42.90) by 11 metres as he clocked a mile rate of 1:58.8.

After finishing runner-up in three starts since making the switch to the stable of Leeton trainer Chris Hughes, Papa Camelot was able to go one better.

Hughes was pleased to come away with the win.

“He has got issues and you never know when you have got him,” Hughes said.

“He could breakdown tomorrow and if I got up in the morning and he was broken down I would still be happy that at least he would go out a winner.

Papa Camelot continued his string of seconds after making an early mistake at Junee earlier in the month, but this times went much smoother.

“The plan was to go forward but it was the plan last week as well when he jumped out of them,” Hughes said.

“I’ve had him for four starts and he probably should have won every single one of them.”

No stranger to the race track, the son of Safely Kept has now had 22 wins, 35 seconds and 23 thirds from 191 starts.

The victory saw him go past $120,000 in earnings but Hughes doesn’t believe Papa Camelot shows his age.

“He’s had 190 starts and I’ve only had him for four but he doesn’t like an 11-year-old horse,” Hughes said.

“He is like a four or five-year-old.

“He is a beautiful horse to have around the stables.”

The win was part of a double for Whitton reinsman Peter McRae.

After the 20-year-old took out a double at Wagga’s last meeting he tasted more success with Papa Camelot and The Real Eagle for Yanco trainer Brad Hillyer.

He was pleased to help break Papa Camelot’s long losing streak.

“I believed in him and he is a tough old horse,” McRae said. 

“I could have sat up and down a bit slower but I thought that was the way to beat him (Chickies Boy).

“He went massive last week, galloped, gave them 50 and just got beaten so he deserved that win.”

McRae said The Real Eagle was back to his best after a disappointing effort at Junee last time out.

“He was underdone last time but came back,” he said.

“He is a better horse in front and showed that.”

There was plenty of drama later on the card.

Firstly, Shadesoff won the Steel Supplies Pace (1755m) in the stewards room.

The Brooke McPherson-trained mare beaten by a half head by Corrinyah Conman but stewards found he had interfered with the mare in the home straight and reversed the placings.

Then sections of the track were left in darkness but were fixed for the final three races.


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