Flying Pretty claims Boggabri Cup, Groth eyes transferred Narrabri Cup

Connections of Flying Pretty and jockey Kelsey Lenton were all smiles after their win in the Boggabri Cup at Gunnedah on Saturday. Photo: Bradley Photos.

It was an easy watch for favourite punters in the 2023 Boggabri Cup at Gunnedah on Saturday, with the Gavin Goth-trained Flying Pretty proving way too classy in the 1400m feature event. 

Ridden by three-kilogram claiming apprentice Kelsey Lenton, the seven-year-old flew out of gate four and at one stage led by four or five lengths before cantering in for a 2.25 lengths win from the Paul Grills-trained Flying Banjo (Georgina McDonnell, $8.50) in second, while in third and 2.31 lengths back was the Stephen Jones-trained Oh No Bro (Jake Pracey-Holmes, $14).

The Gunnedah mare was previously trained up north, but she has found some form for Groth, winning two of her last three starts, including a good win at Walcha last month.  

“I’ve only had her seven starts and she is definitely improving,” Groth said. 

“I made a few mistakes with her early on and I was listening to what she used to do and not what my gut or eyes told me to do, and I recognised that she was not going to be doing things now that she was doing when she was four. 

“I was a bit soft on her, and in a race at Tamworth where she run fourth or fifth, if I had her right on the day, she probably should have won, but from that race on, it probably took me three runs to get her fit and she has stepped up and gone good.”

Groth will be racing Flying Pretty on her home track again on March 18 when she contests the transferred Narrabri Cup at Gunnedah. 

“I think she can win a couple more for sure and she is a Benchmark 60 (rating) at the minute, and that has tapped her, and she probably doesn’t want to be going any higher than that,” Groth said. 

“Her next assignment is at Gunnedah, and with the Narrabri Cip meeting moved, she will go in that 1250m race.”

Groth sent the Boggabri Cup home with Flying Pretty’s owners, and he was happy to deliver a feature-race win for the Queenslanders, who ventured to Gunnedah on Saturday. 

“I give it to the owners; it’s only a dust collector,” Groth laughed. 

“I’m happy to win a race anywhere and anytime but it was good for the owners. 

“They drove all the way down from the Gold Coast, and it’s funny, because she was trained over on the coast before she got here, and they sent her over here because of the dire wet conditions up that way, and then we had eight floods in three months, but the break has been good for her and she has found some good form.” 

Results share around at Gunnedah 

No one trainer or jockey dominated the Boggabri Cup meeting on Saturday, with results shared around on the day.

The 1000m Maiden Handicap was taken out by Coonabarabran visitor Rust (Jake Barrett, $14) from the Wayne Martyn yard, while in the 1400m Maiden Plate, the Andrew MacDonald-trained Perfection Man (Madeline Owen, $17) won what turned out to be a thrilling finish. 

Dubbo visitor Michael Mulholland won the 1600m Class One/Maiden Handicap with Bon Vavont (Serg Lisnyy, $4.60), and Inverell trainer Todd Payne left with a good winner after Kalahari Heart (Chelsea Hiller, $4) took out the 1250m Benchmark 50 Handicap. 

In the final race on the program, Tamworth trainer Craig Clegg won with The Affirmative (Rachael Murray, $12) in the 1000m Benchmark 50 Handicap. 

For all results click here.

Upcoming Gunnedah race dates 

March 18 – Transferred Narrabri Cup meeting

May 2 – TAB race day 

May 28 – Gunnedah Cup Big Dance race meeting