Kembla Grange visitor Dolly’s Due spoiled the local Kosciuszko plans with victory in the feature race at Murrumbidgee Turf Club.
Wagga Kosciuszko hopeful O’ So Hazy ($4.80) had to settle for sixth place as Dolly’s Due ($3.50) took out the $35,000 Riverina Crane Services 2018 Ian Reid Sprint (1200m).
O’ So Hazy set a solid speed in front but was overrun midway down the straight as Dolly’s Due swooped strongly to defeat Up Trumpz ($8.50) by a neck.
The Chris Heywood-trained Not Too Sure ($51.00) ran on strongly to finish one length back in third.
Kembla Grange trainer Michelle Ritchie was pleased to see her mare back in the winner’s stall for the first time since May last year.
“I’m over the moon,” Ritchie said.
“I’ve been very happy with her work and the way she’s been going. She pulled up with an injury after I brought her here for the Cup carnival and I’ve been really happy with the way she’s come back.”
The win was the third leg of a winning treble for Jeff Penza.
Wagga trainer Scott Spackman was disappointed but not defeated after the first up performance of O’ So Hazy.
“We’ve got to get some weight off her back,” Spackman said.
“Obviously I’m a bit deflated but she still tried her guts out.
“We’ll try and find something suitable with a bit of weight relief.”
The connections now find themselves in a race against time before the Kosciuszko draw on Friday, September 14.
Ideally, O’ So Hazy will now head to Sydney or Melbourne to try and catch the attention of potential Kosciuszko slot holders before or shortly after the draw.
It was not all gloom for the Spackman stable after they won the opening event, the Nu Concept Constructions 3YO Showcase Maiden Plate (1200m), with Jaytee’s The Fox ($5.50).
Resuming from a spell and at just his second race start, Jaytee’s The Fox powered home to edge out debutante Francisco Pizaro by a half length.
Spackman is confident the three-year-old can measure up in next year’s Southern District heat of the Country Championships.
“The Country Championships is beckoning for him,” he said.
“We gave him a jump out two weeks ago and he’s an improving type. I think the 1400 metres of the Country Championships will suit him down to the ground.
“We know what to do to get there so we’ll go there.”
Nick Heywood rode Jaytee’s The Fox to victory, the first of two for the day, and he is a big fan.
“He showed he had it at his first run and the owners decided to give him time and it’a paid dividends,” he said.