ALTHOUGH the Max Crockett trained Lancelot provided an exciting run in Sunday's Happy Easter Sunday Open Handicap (1100 metres) at Mudgee there seemed to be numerous winners.
Not only did Lancelot have a great fitness run ahead of the Gooree Cup mile in a fortnight, his jockey Mathew Cahill returned to the winner’s circle after a 12 month suspension.
After beginning a return to racing at Lightning Ridge on Saturday, Cahill posted his first winner at Mudgee on board Crockett's four-year-old gelding.
Crockett said he could not be happier for the Cowra-based jockey.
“I was very pleased for Mathew coming back from his suspension with a win. It was great to see him back today and he rode Lancelot just the way he and I wanted. I have had a lot of success with Mathew,” Crockett said.
In the dying stages of the sprint it looked as though Gulgong and Gayna Williams trained Conroy's Gap ($5.50, Samantha Clenton) had done enough to win.
As per the pre-race plan, Lancelot ($5.50) sat behind the front runners and made his run at the home bend to run on and win by a head.
The sheer speed was an indicator of what Lancelot may do over the mile in two weeks.
The run did make it an exciting and nail-biting moment for owners including Mid-Western Regional Council mayor Des Kennedy, Mudgee car dealer Ross Granata and Racing NSW's Kim Harding.
Crockett said he could not be more happy with Lancelot and Cahill.
“Mathew said he was a bit worried at the corner and didn't think he'd make it. I did tell him [prior] just to give him a couple of whacks around the backside,” Crockett said.
“He can get a bit lazy when he sits behind the front horses. I said to Mathew give him a couple of back handers with the whip and he'll come up.
“I do think that will be a good fitness run for him heading into the Gooree [Cup] mile. A lot of people thought I couldn't bring him back to 1100 metres but I've done it before with three or four other horses.”
Shadow Force ($5, Martin Haley) made it a Mudgee trifecta of sorts after it finished a length back.
Orange trainer Jeff Brasch's Ideal Position ran fifth and almost three-and-a-half-lengths off the winner and a further length back was Mudgee owned grey Spectacular Iam. It has been suggested that “Speccy” as he is affectionately known may be retiring from racing after yesterday's run.