There wouldn’t be many country-trained gallopers in better form than what Johnny Dash is in now.
The Dynamic Syndications-owned and Mack Griffith-trained four-year-old already boasts a stellar record of 15 starts for five wins and three placings.
Initially trained by Annabel Neasham, the talented gelding won back-to-back races at Bathurst and Goulburn late last year but was transferred to Griffith’s care in Mudgee.
Since then, he’s not missed a beat, winning three from sixth while finishing no further back than fourth in any of his starts for the astute country trainer.
He’s now won two on the trot, getting home for a win in the 1300m Benchmark 74 Handicap at Gunnedah in August before heading to the paddock for a little let-up.
Upon returning, Johnny Dash resumed as a $6.50 chance in the 1100m Benchmark 66 Handicap at Narromine earlier this month, and despite carrying 61.5kg, Anna Roper guided him to a good win.
The apprentice jockey took a lot out of the Narromine win.
“It was really good today. He was away nicely; I sought of had to come back a bit; he just wasn’t travelling as well as I wanted him to,” Roper said.
“I got him on the bridle coming to the turn and thought he hit the line well with that big weight on his back, and I didn’t think he would quite get there, but he really dug deep and tried really hard today.
“Obviously, once you go up in trip, and he was only first up today, he might be in for a good prep.”
Griffith and connections will test their gelding’s mettle at Orange on Thursday, with Johnny Dash stepping up in distance and to Open Handicap company when taking on the older and more experienced horses in the 1410m feature event.
Clayton Gallagher has been booked for the ride, and the Mudgee galloper draws kindly with gate two and 57kg.
Still, he does take on a few honest Open Class types, including Zoologist, Notabadidea and Turgenev, and in-form gallopers Memories and Driving Force; Griffith would have to be considering up-and-coming Country Cups if he were to win.
It’s interesting to note that Johnny Dash isn’t just a fast horse but also very well-bred.
By I Am Invincible, the gelding is out of Dashoff, making him a half-brother to Group One winner Spright, which earned almost $1.4 million in prize money.
Orange to ring in the New Year
It’s set to be a massive day at Orange on Thursday, with the club ready to ring in the New Year.
Racing at Towac Park, gates open at 1 pm before the first race commences at 2.05 pm.
It will be a Sky 1 meeting, with catering and hospitality options available.
Music will be by DJ Dave O’Hara, and tickets are available here.
For more on the day, click here.
For fields, click here.
Race 1: 2 Four O’Clock Knock
Race 2: 5 Johnny Dash
Race 3: 8 The Big Biig
Race 4: 4 Money Wheel
Race 5: 10 Palentino Swinger
Race 6: 5 South Bullaway
Race 7: 6 Fameux