Rogers scores hometown win at Gilgandra

The Kieren Hazelton-trained Dao Sun, ridden by James Rogers, won at Gilgandra on Saturday. Image: Racing Photography.

Hardworking local jockey James Rogers had a deserved and popular win aboard Dao Sun on Saturday at Gilgandra.

Rogers handles the majority of horses in trackwork at Gilgandra, including a sizeable team for trainer Kieren Hazelton.

The lightly raced Dao Sun ($4.20 to $3.20) held a slender lead at the top of the straight, then broke clear to win the 1280m Western Farm Machinery Maiden Plate by almost three lengths from Underverse (Chelsea Ings, $51) and The Git Up (Ronald Simpson, $2.25 favourite).

Making it a good day for the locals, the Leo Harland trained The Hulkbuster won the final event, the 1280 metres Tooraweenah Prime Lamb Co-Operative Benchmark 50 Handicap.

The Hulkbuster ($5.50), under jockey Wendy Peel, went straight to the front and held on to win by a long neck from Keys To Love (Will Stanley, $11) and Mean Girls (James Rogers, $3.10 to $2.60 fav.).

The first leg of a double for Dubbo jockey Wendy Peel was the Cec Hodgson, Coonamble-trained Twyborn Affair in the 1000m Freck’s Electrical & Solar Benchmark 50 Handicap.

Close to the front at the 400m, Twyborn Affair ($5.50) led for home and, ridden out strongly by Wendy Peel, won by nearly a length from the Wangaratta (VIC) trained Miss Brondolino (Sarah McDonough,$4.20 fav.) and Luckyimwithaimee (Will Stanley, $6).

There were dramatic developments after the Mack Griffith, Mudgee-trained Aussie Pharoah (Clayton Gallagher, $3.40 to $4.80) led throughout to win the 1550m Mountain View Hotel Benchmark 50 Handicap by over for lengths from Searchlight (Zoe Hunt, $13) and Edith’s Joy (Kath Bell-Pitomac, $11).

Soon after the finish, Aussie Pharoah veered sharply to the left and crashed through the mounting yard fence. 

Aussie Pharoah escaped serious injury; however, leading jockey Clayton Gallagher suffered a suspected broken wrist.

In the opening race, the 1000m Jarryd Eason & Grant Nell Maiden Handicap, named after the track curators who do a great job at Gilgandra, Miss Adamas (Jake Pracey-Holmes, $1.90 fav.) had a handy lead however, was run down and beaten a head by the Stephen Jones, Scone-trained Divine DI Dora (Will Stanley, $6) with Platinum Warrior (Clayton Gallagher, $3.40) in third place.

Trained at Dubbo by Clint Lundholm and well ridden by his apprentice Ronald Simpson, Venatic ($4.40) was second to the home turn before going on to win the 800m Tooraweenah Business Houses Class 1 Handicap by over a length from Have Mercy (Georgina McDonnell, $6.50) and the leader Juliette Street (Kath Bell-Pitomac, $31).

There was excellent support by racegoers and sponsors from the village of Tooraweenah between Gilgandra and Coonabarabran, which helped make it a successful race meeting.

Western and Central Districts racing action heads to Condobolin (Picnics) on Saturday and Dubbo (TAB) on Sunday.