Classy Rebel and Patrick May are both tough and talented gallopers and their clash in the 1280 metres Collie Hotel Cup was a highlight on Saturday at Gilgandra.
Trained at Dubbo by Dar Lunn for Guy Mitchell (Binnaway) and Rob Pratten (Dubbo), Classy Rebel since May has won 5 of 9 races while the Leo Harland trained Patrick May two starts back won the Satellite at Parkes and has continually raced well against strong company.
Rock hard in fitness after several recent outings Classy Rebel started the $3.50 favourite at Gilgandra while Patrick May resuming from a 10 weeks break started at $3.70.
Away quickly from the outside barrier, Patrick May pressured Classy Rebel for the lead with Casey Waddell on Proudest Moment also keen to have a piece of the up front action in the run to the home turn.
After a good battle, Classy Rebel (Clayton Gallagher) pulled away to beat Patrick May (Jake Pracey-Holmes) by a length and a half with a short head to Gadfly (Tony Cavallo, $11), the 2019 Picnic Championship winner.
As only essential personnel were allowed at the meeting due to Covid-19 restrictions, the majority of local owners who race the Kieren Hazleton trained Chesty were watching from home as their 4yo gelding contested the 1200 metres Ahrens Maiden Handicap.
One owner, the Gilgandra Jockey Club President Jason Tate was however on course helping run the meeting and was pleased with the performance of Chesty, at the third start in a race.
In front turning for home, Chesty (Jake Pracey-Holmes, $18) held on to score by a half length from Jumping Power (Aaron Sweeney, $13) with over three lengths to the third placed Castlehyde (Jackson Searle, $1.55).
Making it a double for Gilgandra stables, the Bryan Dixon trained Renzulli ($6) well ridden by apprentice Zara Lewis came from fifth nearing the home turn to beat Valarian (Ken Dunbar, $6.50) by a short head with Lake Tanganyika (Daniel Northey, $26) third in the 1100 metres Geronimo Farm Equipment Benchmark 50 Handicap.
Kylie Kennedy who won her home town Narromine Cup with Wild Rocket completed a big week when as the trainer of Padrone she won the 1000 metres Mick & Margaret Brophy Memorial Maiden Plate at Gilgandra.
In form jockey Clayton Gallagher was aboard as Padrone ($3.80) overhauled the leader Chevalier De Frise (Tony Cavallo, $2.30) with Sizzling Star (Jake Pracey-Holmes, $5) running home well for third.
Overcoming a wide barrier, the Kody Nestor trained Music Miss (Liam Blanch, $7.50) finished strongly from well back to win the 1100 metres Bob & Clare Coxedge Memorial Benchmark 50 Handicap while Expect A Hero (Madeline Owen, $6) led most of the way to win the 800 metres Cam & Dorothy Carmichael Benchmark 50 Handicap for Dubbo trainer Brett Robb.
Going to the early lead from the outside barrier, the Melissa Dennett, Tamworth trained Ballast (Jackson Searle, $4.50) won the 1600 metres Keithu Kilby Memorial Benchmark 50 Handicap by over three lengths from Zoey Lass (Tiffany Jeffries, $7.50) and Fiveash (Clayton Gallagher, $8.50).
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