A plan by Dubbo trainer Connie Greig to have Naoko ridden closer to the lead bore fruit when the six year old mare won the McDonalds Coradgery Cup (1400m) at Parkes on Saturday.
“Naoko has been unlucky on several occasions when making runs from the back of the field and today Ken Dunbar has found a good position close to the pace,” Greig explained.
Switched around the leader’s heels when heads turned for home, Naoko ($8 to $6) hit the front and held on to win the feature by a long neck from Getting Ready (Kath Bell-Pitomac, $15) with a half head to County Limerick (Josh Richards, $11).
Another Dubbo galloper returning to winning form was the Frank Hayes-trained Bow Tie Benny ridden by Tony Cavallo in the Parkes Services Club Benchmark 52 Handicap,1200 metres.
After racing outside the leader, Bow Tie Benny ($15) staved off Victorian visitor Keepcalmandcarryon (Tiffany Jeffries, $7) and Running Broke (Akira Kajiya, $7).
The first event, the P.J.L Group Maiden Plate (800m) saw an all the way win by the Robert Anderson-trained Heatherton (Josh Richards, $3.10) from Vulcain (Michael Heagney, $6) and Sissie’s Choice (MIchael Hackett, $2.70 favourite).
Aaron Sweeney then won the Telescope Tyres & Batteries Class 1 Handicap (1000m) on the flash looking Bitofastar, a chestnut with four long white stockings and small white patch under the ribs.
Rain overnight and again on race morning failed to deter a huge crowd from attending and numbers were similar to last year’s meeting.