Buchanan and Penza combine to claim rich Wellington Boot

Jeff Penza and the Kristen Buchanan-trained Everlong find the front in the 2023 Wellington Boot. Photo: Racing Photography.

The two-year-olds were unleashed in the 2023 Wellington Boot on Sunday, and Wyong trainer Kristen Buchanan claimed victory in the $200,000 event after Jeff Penza guided Everlong to a strong victory. 

The Annabel Neasham-trained Sky Artist (Winona Costin, $8.50) led by up to five lengths, and the pair turned for home well in front in the 1200m event.

Penza bided his time on Everlong ($10), but when push came shove, the pair quickly ranged up and found the front on the Wellington home straight before holding off the fast-finishing Quasimoto (Grant Buckley, $9.50), with the Clint Lundholm galloper putting in an eye-catching effort to finish second when beaten 0.63 of a length. 

In third was the Damien Lane-trained Sparkingly (Jenny Duggan, $14), which finished 1.24 lengths off the pace. 

Representative for the Kristen Buchanan stable, Peter Hagger, was thrilled to land the win in the rich country race for owners, Trilogy Racing. 

“Look, that’s absolutely outstanding,” Hagger told Sky Thoroughbred Central.

“Trilogy (Racing) are such big supporters of racing, and a massive supporter of ours, so for that to work and come off, that’s just absolutely outstanding. 

“They have put a lot of faith in us, sending us such a top filly, and for her to come out on debut and win a $200,000 race, we are happy.”

Being by leading sire Capitalist and out of talented mare Nieta, Everlong is bred to be fast, and Hagger explained that it had taken some time for the youngster to put it altogether for connections.

“She is outstandingly bred, and she is a nice filly,” Hagger said. 

“She has taken a little bit of time to come good. She wanted to overdo things a bit early, but full credit goes to Jeff today; he gave her a peach of a ride.”

Penza was at his best in the rich event, and he hinted that Everlong will only improve on the winning effort. 

“The draw was crucial in this race, and she jumped well, the thing inside me had a lot of speed, and we got a trail behind it,” Penza said. 

“She raced keen, and I thought they ran along pretty quick, and with her still being new, she just wanted to overdo it a fair bit, and she wobbled off the turn really bad, but she picked herself up and finished off nice.”

The running of the Wellington Boot was the highlight of a bumper two days of racing, which was the club’s 2023 carnival. 

The Rod Northam-trained High Court won the $100,000 Wellington Cup, while on the first day of the carnival, Jake Pracey-Holmes dominated when riding for winners. 

For Friday’s results click here and for Sunday’s results click here