IF yesterday’s meeting at Towac Park is any indication, Jeff Brasch is going to enjoy his time in Orange.
Moving to Orange’s stables on Sunday, Brasch’s three-year-old filly Vortuka ($2 favourite) led from start to finish in the $15,000 The Overflow Maiden Handicap (1000m) to ensure the former Mudgee trainer gets his Towac Park tenure off to the best possible start.
“I’ve always had a little bit of luck at the Orange track,” Brasch said following Vortuka’s impressive two-and-a-half length win in the second on a good three yesterday afternoon.
“I had a horse run a really nice fourth in the Orange Cup last year, only beaten by half a length, so I’ll be trying to have a crack at that again this year.”
With three late scratchings in the 12-horse field, Vortuka’s odds shortened.
Justifiably so, too, with the bay filly jumping well from barrier eight to lead handsomely from the 900 metre mark.
At different stages of the 1000 metre race Tiger’s Story ($31), Rolling Zone ($13) and Cellarmondo ($61) challenged, but none could go on with the job as Greg Ryan powered Vortuka to a handy break and a comfortable victory.
The Milton Coutts trained Grand Doubt ($31) ran second from the Ken Dunbar-ridden Rolling Zone in third.
In just her second start after a third in Tamworth last month, Vortuka impressed Brasch.
“She raced really well at Tamworth but drew a wide gate and got trapped by it and was pretty green,” he said.
“It was 44 degrees that day, so I put her straight into the paddock for a week and freshened her up and brought her back here today and it’s worked. I’ve been really happy.
“Greg rode her in a barrier trial and as soon as he got off her he said he wanted to stick with her, he really liked the way she trialled.
“He’s rode her in her only two starts and there’s no one better than Greg.”
Champion hoop Ryan said while still learning, Brasch’s three-year-old filly showed plenty of potential.
“She’d only had the one start and she was a little bit green in her first start in the race ... today, a bit closer to home, better for the experience, she does gallop well but she’s only going to improve,” Ryan enthused.
“She had the ability on those other horses. She’s a bit better.”