After running around dusty tracks on the picnic circuit, there was little fanfare around The Clash when he lined up at Wellington Jockey Club on Monday.
But the six-year-old gelding, trained at Gilgandra by Bryan Dixon, made them sit up and take notice when leading from start to finish in the Star Turn at Vinery Class 1 Handicap (1400m).
The win was the second of The Clash’s career and the first in 10 starts since making the move to Dixon’s stables from Richard Jolly at Morphetville in South Australia.
“He just doesn’t handle the dirt tracks so we brought him back to have a go on the grass and it was a very good win,” Dixon told Sky Thoroughbred Central, Jake Precy-Holmes piloting The Clash to a four-length win.
“That’s the way you’ve got to ride him. Jake’s had one ride on him at Gilgandra and ran second so he knew the horse and it was good.”
The Clash jumped from barrier three as a $31 chance and Pracey-Holmes wasted little time in getting to the lead while pre-race favourite Baker’s Image ($2.05) found himself at the back of the field.
With 800m to go The Clash and Sinnendor ($16) were clear in front.
Rounding the bend for home, Pracey-Holmes got The Clash to kick further in front and the race was as good as over halfway down the straight.
“I thought there would be more speed than that,” Pracey-Holmes said.
“I was definitely going to lead, or try to, and I’d only had the one ride on him at a non-TAB at Gilgandra and he jumped that day but a few took me on and I had to do a bit more work than I wanted to … they left me alone in front today and he got away with it.”
The Clash went on to win by a convincing four lengths while Sinnendor, ridden by Katelyn Jenkinson for Dubbo trainer Michael Lunn, was second and Connie Greig’s Moralto ($26) was third in what proved to be a bumper trifecta.
Earlier in the day, Mudgee trainer Cameron Crockett got to see new recruit Good Verdict win on debut.
Good Verdict had previously been with Kim Waugh but had battled for consistency. As a $2.05 favourite he showed no such issues at Wellington, scoring a classy one-and-three-quarter length win.
The win was the first of Good Verdict’s five-start career.