Clisby galloper takes lead in Dubbo Summer Sprint Series

Midnight Dream, ridden by Clayton Gallagher and trained by Paul Clisby, won the first heat of the Barastoc Summer Sprint Series at Dubbo on Monday. Image – Racing Photography.

Another innovation by Dubbo Turf Club, the Barastoc Summer Sprint Series, is underway, with the first of three heats in the series won on Monday by Midnight Dream.

Trained at Dubbo by Paul Clisby and ridden by Clayton Gallagher, Midnight Dream ($5) was switched to the outside in the straight and, in a dramatic finish, arrived in time to win by a long neck from My Oddette (Zoe Hunt, $13) with Jarmanagic (Chelsea Hillier, $51) a short head away third in the Barastoc 1000m Benchmark 58 Handicap.

Further Heats will be held at Dubbo on Monday, February 5, and Sunday, February 18, with the trainer earning the most points to win a tonne of Barastoc feed for the stable.

Over recent years, owners Guy Mitchell from Binnaway and Rob Pratten from Dubbo have enjoyed considerable success with horses trained by Dubbo-based Dar Lunn, the latest being Pants On Fire.

A last-start winner at Dubbo in late December, Pants On Fire overcame a very wide barrier in a big field on Monday to win the 1400m Barastoc Furlong Country Boosted Benchmark 58 Handicap.

Well ridden by Chelsea Hillier, Pants On Fire ($7) crossed quickly to the lead and held on to win by almost a length from Dream Game (Shayleigh Ingelse, $4.80) and Ringside (Jake Pracey-Holmes, $10).

The long and successful association between jockey Tony Cavallo and Rlystone trainer Bob Howe continued when Barcoo River won the 1100m Medley Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Class 1 Handicap.

Settling behind the leading pack, Barcoo River ($31) was driven through a gap by Cavallo to score a close win from Fantasy Crowned (Kath Bell-Pitomac, $19) and Wasted Days (Jake Pracey-Holmes, $8.50).

At the second start in a race, the Cameron Crockett, Scone-trained Dances With Hooves was a highly impressive winner of the 1400m Desspos Solutions Country Boosted Maiden Handicap.

Headed in the straight by Freewheeler, Medinah (Nick Heywood, $2.80 to $2.45 favourite) regained the lead and looked set to win before Dances With Hooves (Mathew Cahill, $4.20 to $6) finished powerfully from a long way back to score by nearly a length with Sensei Jackie (Jake Pracey-Holmes, $15) cutting Freewheeler out of third place.

Leading Scone-based trainer Brett Cavanough and apprentice Cobi Vitler had a winning double, Choice Witness ( $1.30 fav.) home by over four lengths in the 1100m Race ‘N ‘ Win  Barastoc Maiden Plate and Erelle ($2.60 to $2.10 fav.) wearing down Aussie Pharoah ($16) for a half-length win in the 1600 metres MAAS Mile Class 1 and Maiden Plate.

After nine placings from 15 starts, the Todd Howlett, Muswellbrook-trained Canny Prospect (Nick Heywood, $1.80 to $2.30 fav.) broke through to win the 1100 metres Coca Cola No Sugar  Maiden Plate by over four lengths.

Central Districts racing heads to Cowra for the running of the Cowra Cup and Cowra Japan Cup on Sunday before Parkes race on Saturday, January 27.