EVERY now and then racing throws up a story that just makes you smile.
The win of Murray’s Sun in the Rheem Australia Open Handicap (1120m) at Dubbo yesterday is one of them.
It had been more than four years since the 10-year-old gelding last saluted in a race.
In between that win in a $70,000 event at Randwick and yesterday Murray’s Sun had been a continual source of frustration for his trainer Bridget Jones.
After all the injuries and setbacks, most trainers would have decided the old boy was better off enjoying retirement in the paddock.
But to Jones this isn’t just any horse.
Murray’s Sun is the cheap buy - injury-prone but ultra-talented - that has given her biggest thrills in racing.
And that is why she was the loudest person on the track yesterday when her old gelding stormed from the tail of the field to wear down a handy field of sprinters.
“The last time he won was at Randwick and a month after that he finished third behind Rangirangdoo in a Group 3 race,” Jones said.
“He’s been a really good horse to us. We’ve nursed him and nursed him and finally he has shown us that he still has that bit of spark left.
“We know that as long as he stays healthy he can still compete out here.”
Ridden by Daniel Pitomac, Murray’s Sun ($13.00) settled back in the six-horse field while up front Princess Pachara ($7.00, Chelsea Jokic) and Shadow Force ($5.00, Mick Travers) went along at a good tempo.
Early in the straight Princess Pachara started to fall away, leaving Shadow Force to try and hold off the late burst of Conroy’s Gap ($3.00, Daniel Northey).
But just as that galloper looked set for victory Murray’s Sun thundered down the extreme outside to blow them all away and win by one-and-a-quarter lengths from Conroy’s Gap with Shadow Force a further neck away in third place.
The $2.90 favourite Sutton Queen (Greg Ryan) never appeared a winning threat and finished in fifth place.
“I thought coming back to 1100m today that a couple of them might slip away from him but I knew he’d be finishing hard,” Pitomac said.
“He surprised me a bit with how he was able to stay so close in the run but he felt great out there and once I let him go he really extended well.
“I don’t think I was riding the last time he won a race but I know that he was a really good horse so it’s nice to be able to get a win on him.”