Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Gold War Surprises to Claim Winter Battle

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Gold War Surprises to Claim Winter Battle

Article excerpt

RACING: One of the biggest winter crowds seen at Thangool's Ford Park racecourse was feted to some first-class racing in what was more like spring weather last Saturday.

Results were mixed, although most winners with the exception of Gold War ($16.00) in the Class 3 (1400m) were well supported in the strong betting ring for which Thangool is renowned.

Speaking of Gold War, his win was not at all a surprise to his trackwork rider, Jason Devine.

Ridden intelligently in the lead by Dennis Whitmore, Gold War was unchallenged in that role allowing the jockey to dictate terms.

This suited his mount who has been taken on as leader at recent starts over shorter distances.

Comeback jockey Gus Philpot, aboard favourite and eventual runner-up Exorcize ($2.10), tried to edge closer and give chase on his mount in the middle stages but he was anchored under 59.5kg.

"Each time you try to hold him back he grabs the bit and wants to go further and harder," Devine said of Gold War.

"Half-way around, when Dennis tried to settle him back a little, I could see he grabbed the bit and went further ahead.

"Les (Hansen), his trainer, has mainly been running him over sprint distances but he won his maiden over 1400 metres down south before he was sold to up here.''

He was referring to Gold War's win in a three-horse Maiden Handicap (1400m) at Tumut on November 1, 2008.

Hansen, who had previously won races with Gold War at Taroom and Gayndah, missed Saturday's win as he was away on a fishing trip.

"Les will be kicking himself that he missed seeing the win, but he had been waiting for ages to go out on the reef fishing trip," Divine said.

Saturday's win by Forade (Haylee O'Hara, $2.70) in the Open Handicap (1400m) was part of a plan hatched by Rockhampton trainer Leanne Applewaite with the $15,250 Thangool Cup (1600m) to be run on September 11 in mind. …

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