BAY GELDING Landuncan stormed home to claim the Racing Orange $15,000 Newport Recruitment Benchmark 65 Handicap (1400 metres) by the narrowest of margins at Towac Park yesterday.
Supplying stewards with a brilliant photo finish, Landuncan ($5) went wide with 400 metres to go and edge $3.20 favourite Domuar Miss by a neck with the Scott Singleton-trained Glamour Rock ($6) just a head off the winner.
The tight finish had the modest Towac Park crowd on its feet in Racing Orange’s first spring meeting of 2013.
Many of the punters on hand cheered as nine-year-old grey Gokstad ($10) shot out to any early lead, initially battling with the Wanda Ings-prepared Jive Talk ($17) as the pair held many of his rivals at bay.
But the race favourites eventually stormed home wide of the rails to dominate the placings.
With the dark blue and red diamond and white cap of Landuncan jockey Claire Nutman emerging, the duo produced the kind of run home Gulgong-based trainer Gayna Williams knew the seven-year-old and apprentice were capable of.
“(Williams) said ride him patiently in the back and he’ll finish off well,” winning jockey Claire Nutman said following the win, her first for the day at Towac Park.
“We got a good pull into the race around the corner and followed the favourite (Domuar Miss) and he was too good down the outside.”
The win improves the Landuncan’s record to eight wins, two seconds and four third place finishes from 27 starts.
This was perhaps one of the gelding’s closest triumphs, with just a head splitting first and third.
Nutman, though, knew all along she had the win in the bag.
“I knew I’d won that. You can tell ... sometimes you can tell,” the apprentice jockey smiled.
“I’ve had a few winners here, I think this was my sixth one.”