Wellington hosts day of racing fever

WELLINGTON-based apprentice Daniel Pitomac was left to count the cost of a trackwork accident on Saturday when three of the mounts he was supposed to take at his home Boxing Day race meeting were victorious yesterday.

Pitomac broke a thumb in the fall and missed the rides on Pentomic, Zadaggio and Castlereagh Grey, which took out the opening three events in front of a bumper holiday crowd.

Catherine Markwort picked up the rides on Pentomic and Castlereagh Grey while Zadaggio led all the way with Tiffany Jeffries in the saddle.

Trained on the track by Pitomac’s master Jim McMillan, Pentomic ($9) showed the stamina indicated in his breeding by grounding out a tough win in the Peter Milling Yearling Sales Maiden Plate (1700m).

After copping a couple of bumps from Sleepy Jack ($2.80 fav, Kacie Chater) shortly after the start, Pentomic settled in the second half of the seven-horse field before being hooked wide at the top of the short Wellington straight.

In a slogging finish the Pentire (GB) x Lodge Place (NZ) gelding wore down Dalstrat ($8.00, Ken Dunbar) to win by a long-neck with Spin The Globe ($8.00, Michael Hackett) a further three-quarters-of-a-length away in third place.

The race was run in a time of 1:46.93s and was the first of Pentomic’s eight-start career so far.

“He’s a great-looking horse, a stunner really, but he hadn’t done anything before today and I didn’t really know what to expect,” Markwort said after the race.

“On form it was probably hard to think he was a chance but they told me that I would have to keep niggling at him to get him to go.

“After the bit of trouble we had at the start he got such a nice run and when we got to the top of the hill I knew he had done no work so I wanted to try and start winding him up before we got into the straight and when I gave him a couple of cracks he picked up.

“I had to keep at him to keep him interested but he got there in the end and it was a good win. He was strong at the end and might even appreciate further than the 1700m today.”

Yesterday’s Wellington meeting was the start of a busy period of racing in the central west with Macquarie Picnic Races to be held at Trangie on Saturday before Warren hosts a TAB meeting on Sunday and Gilgandra’s new year carnival starts with a non-TAB program on January 1.

That will be followed by the Gilgandra Cup meeting the following Sunday, January 6.

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