Shane Bloomfield lands first Narrandera win

Shane Bloomfield.

Shane Bloomfield’s breakout year continued on Saturday, with the Narrandera trainer preparing his first winner on his home track. 

After Kinross delivered Bloomfield his first ever winner at Albury way back in February, enigmatic galloper Retell allowed connections to finally celebrate at home when taking out the 1200m Maiden Handicap. 

The six-year-odd, which is by Redente and out of Stella Delago, entered the event as a 23-start maiden, and despite his record, there was some good local support as he was backed into $7 by start time.

Under the guidance of Canberra hoop Billy Owen, Retell finished with a powerful burst, coming from second to last to win the race by 0.16 of a length from the Craig Weeding-trained Toronto Rain (Jason Lyon, $2.20), while in third and 0.9 of a length off the pace was the Craig Widdison-trained Doogan’s Storm (Hannah Williams, $6).

Winning his first race at home means all the more to Bloomfield because it was with Retell, which hasn’t been the easiest horse to train. 

“It was really nice to get my first win at Narrandera, and especially with Retell,” Bloomfield said. 

“I have had him for nine starts and bought him from Melbourne and he didn’t have bad Victorian form, but he just doesn’t finish off his races.

“He gets bumped, or a little hit, and he chucks in the towel instead of fighting, so it was nice to finally see him put it altogether.” 

The local galloper seemed to be up for the fight on Saturday, and Bloomfield believes home track advantage coupled with the services of Owen allowed him to get a well-overdue victory.

“I was hoping he actually would perform. On the track he runs similar times to Kinross, and we were confident he was good enough to break his maiden,” Bloomfield said. 

“He was probably second last early, and Billy Owen just let him slide into the race, and probably at the top of the straight, they ran about five out, and kept on coming and it was a good ride and a good win.”

Owen would go on to ride a winning double at Narrandera, with his second win in the 1600m Benchmark 50 Handicap.

Owen rode the Andrew Dale-trained Smokin’ Soldier ($4) to victory when edging the George Dimitropoulos-trained Blazing Zone (Michael Heagney, $11) by 0.07 of a length, and in third and 1.18 lengths away was the Craig Widdison-trained Wicked Redoute’s (Hannah Williams, $5). 

Wangaratta trainer Craig Weeding and visiting hoop Jason Lyon combined for a winning double too. 

The pair won their first race with Northern Tahnee ($3), which took out the 2100m Class One Handicap when beating the Robert Linnell-trained Seporto (Richard Bensley, $4) in second and the Christopher Davis-trained Frank The Yank (Teighan Worsnop, $10) in third. 

Weeding and Lyon won their second event with Set To Go Well ($2.80) in the 1200m Benchmark 50 Handicap, beating the Gino D-Altorio-trained Soul Benefit (Teighan Worsnop, $12) by 0.97 of a length, while in third was the Andrew Dale-trained Wynsome Maid (Billy Owen, $6). 

Jerilderie trainer Phil Sweeney won the 1000m Maiden Plate with Magic Jack (Brendan Ward, $2.50), which finished 0.56 of a length ahead of the Maree Hopkins-trained Dimitar (Michael Heagney, $6), while in third and 1.5 lengths away was Magic Jack’s stablemate, Hi Poppy (Cameron Quilty, $4). 

Doug Gorrel and his apprentice Anaelle Gangotena combined to win the last race on the program when taking out the 1000m Benchmark 50 Handicap with Exaggerate ($4). 

The Wagga galloper edged the Craig Widdison-trained Charming Pat (Jason Lyon, $11) by 0.1 of a length, while in third and 3.32 lengths away was the Andrew dale-trained Stake A Claim (Michael Travers, $3).