ASHLEE Siejka’s win in the Kents H Hardware Banjo Paterson Cup yesterday capped off an amazing week for the driver-trainer.
Courage Tells NZ took out yesterday’s $12,000 feature event at the Orange Harness Racing Club meeting.
Siejka was still on a high after riding her 500th winner at Menangle Park on Saturday night, guiding Our El Nino (NZ) to victory in the second heat of the Lexus of Parramatta Lady Driver Invitation.
“I had a really good week,” Siejka smiled.
“It was good to get my 500th win at Menangle on the night of the Inter Dominion heats.”
In yesterday’s 2240m event at Orange’s Highlands Paceway, Courage Tells (NZ) ($3.80 fav) started out of three but went straight to the front and stayed there the entire race.
The Courage Under Fire (NZ) - Tellalie (NZ) gelding had pressure from Steve Turnbull’s My Dusky Sound ($4.90) through most of the run. On the final run down the back straight the five-year old edged ahead and went on to win by 1.7 metres.
Western Blaze ($15.90) came in third a further 10 metres back.
“He had a good draw and it’s a track where you’ve always got to take advantage of a good draw,” Siejka said of her winner.
“When he sort of found the front I knew he’d be pretty hard to run down. It just depended on how much pressure he got. And, although, he got pressure throughout the race he handled it quite well and finished off that bit too strong for them to come wide and run him down.
“He’s a nice little horse. It was exciting, there was a good crowd and a good day to win a good race.”
Courage Tells NZ won the race in 2.45.8 with a mile rate of 1.59.1.
The win comes at a good time for the gelding as Siejka was thinking this might be his last chance to find some form.
“We’ve had a couple of setbacks with him and we were just going to play it by ear and see how he went today [Sunday],” she explained.
“I knew I had him pretty right and if he didn’t sort of shape up I was going to look at alternative options for him. But I was really happy with the way he went. So we might try and head back to Menangle and win a metro with him if we can.”
Siejka was hoping once she got home yesterday she’d have time to celebrate her victories.
She arrived home from Saturday night’s Menangle Park meeting at 2am on Sunday.
“We might go home and have a couple of drinks to celebrate,” she said.