Good friends Gavin Groth and Daniel Northey made the long trip to Warren on Friday, and the pair were rewarded with a winning double.
The pair’s good day at the office started when Charge Extra ($16) boulted in by two and a half lengths in the 1200m Maiden Plate before they made it a race-to-race double with La Mia Via ($21), proving too good in the 1200m Class One Handicap.
“It was a good day out, and it’s always good when you get a winner and even better when you get two,” Groth told NSW Country and Picnic Racing.
Charge Extra was one of the more dominant wins on the Warren Christmas Twilight program, with Northey able to get a good sit just behind the early leaders on the five-year-old before the pair pulled away for a dominant victory.
“I was really pleased with his win,” Groth said.
“At Gunnedah the fortnight before, his stablemate (Super Mind) was favourite in the race and won, and well, he came out and ran last but was drawn badly and had no luck from the gate.
“At Warren, he did what I expected him to do at Gunnedah, so it was good to see him race up to his ability.”
La Mia Via’s win was an eye-catcher after the five-year-old commenced from gate 10 of 11, but Northey got her into fourth position after jumping well before peeling wide and finishing strongly for a length victory.
“The mare has ability but a few head noises,” Groth said.
“She is a difficult horse to deal with, but when you’ve got her right, that’s what she can do.
“To be honest, that win was down to Daniel’s ride; he rode it like George Moore.
“They started from barrier 10 of 11, and they were on the fence within 200m and running fourth; say no more.”
Interestingly, the Gunnedah trainer nearly didn’t head to Warren after initially nominating his team for Moree on Saturday.
With some hot weather about, he decided to make the nearly-600km roundtrip into the Western Districts.
“I had them all nominated for Moree on Saturday, but there was a bit of a rumour going around that it might be called off for the heat conditions, and I spoke to the stewards, and they suggested it might be a good idea to nom (nominate) at both places,” Groth said.
“After the fields came out, I thought those ones were better suited at Warren, and away we went.
“Three hours usually does it for me, and it took a little bit longer with a lot of road works, so we took it steady, but it didn’t feel like three and a half hours coming back home.
“We pulled up at the Nevertire pub and took a few with us, and that made the trip a lot easier.”
Northey, who’s been riding with success since returning from hip replacement surgery, was always going to follow Groth wherever he went with his team.
“I actually rang Daniel and asked him to ride them at Moree, not having Warren in mind at the time, and he said he would love to go,” Groth said.
“Then I called him back and told him what was happening, and I said I might have to go to Warren, and he said he would go wherever we put them.
“Daniel used to ride a lot for me when he was an apprentice with Jan Bowen, and I used him later on, but he had been out injured off and on for over two years, so it was nice to have him back in the saddle.”
It was a big day at Warren, with a good crowd on hand for the club’s largest social event of the season.
Groth and his stable raced again at Coonamble on Sunday for the Western Racing Association’s second meeting in three days.