Castlereagh Grey makes it three in a row

AN almost forgotten mare is quickly turning into one of the good stories in central west racing after recording her third straight win at Gilgandra on Sunday.

Six-year-old Castlereagh Grey kept her unbeaten record in tact at her home track when winning the Armatree Hotel Benchmark 55 Handicap (1100m) in a quick time of 1:03.68s.

The victory backed up prior success at Wellington and at Warren on debut.

Trained by Bruce Parker and with Catherine Markwort in the saddle, Castlereagh Grey led the whole way in beating Princess Pachara ($13.00, Michael Hackett) by two-and-three-quarter lengths with Gold Clooney a further three-quarters-of-a-length away in third.

The win was a major triumph for Parker and the mare's owners, headed up by Gilgandra Jockey Club president Andrew Schier.

"I had her as a three-year-old and she had a bit of ability but she would get the staggers a bit," Parker said.

"So the owner took her back and put her in the paddock.

"He's got Alzheimer's Disease now so she ended up being given to Andrew and he put together a syndicate to race her and asked me if I'd take her back.

"We nearly wore the DVD out at the bowling club on Sunday night but it's good to have one going as well as her.

"I had a good stayer a few year's ago called Raj's Lover but she's a pretty handy mare and she's unbeaten so we're having a bit of fun with her."

Parker said he may look at a 1000m Class 3 event at Tamworth on February 1 with the Snip Valor - Western Blue mare.

And he reckons he will have a tough time getting Markwort off her back.

"Catherine came over when I was feeding up after the races and said to give her a call when we were going somewhere with her," Parker said.

"She's won two from two on the mare and gets along with her, and she has a claim too which will help wherever we go because she'll start to get noticed by the handicapper."

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