IN a drama-fuelled sixth at Towac Park yesterday, impressive four-year-old Dunderry blitzed a class field to win the Thank You Towac Park Track Team Benchmark 65 Handicap (1000m) by two-and-a-half lengths.
The race was delayed slightly after the Jeff Brasch-trained Engulf become fractious in the barriers, injuring apprentice hoop Fallyn Freihaut’s leg and forcing the ambulance to be called.
Fortunately, Freihaut’s injury was only minor and the race was able to begin shortly after.
After Engulf’s scratching, it was all Dunderry.
Trained by Bathurst’s Paul Theobald, the bay gelding jumped well along side eight-year-old kiwi Gokstad, the Greg Ryan-ridden Series and Stagger, prepared by Orange-based trainer Brian Buckley.
But it didn’t take long for Dunderry to assert himself on the field.
Sired by Murphy’s Blu Boy, Dunderry kicked on to be out by four lengths approaching the home turn, and if anything, extended his lead once hitting the straight at Towac Park.
Gokstad mounted a late challenge but the grey was never really in the race, with Dunderry winning by two-and-a-half lengths from Gokstad with Ruby Hill third in a photo finish with early favourite Stagger.
“He is a jump and run horse, so every time I’ve tried to sit and sprint with him he just doesn’t have the will to hit the line. He hits the line just not quick enough because he doesn’t have the turn of foot,” Theobald said after the race.
“He is a jump and run horse and when he is out in front he just keeps kicking... kick, kick, kick, kick. You’re not catching me.”
It was Dunderry’s third win in four starts at Towac Park.
But yesterday’s dominant performance in race six of Racing Orange’s full TAB meeting, the only race meeting in NSW yesterday, was perhaps the gelding’s most impressive.
“I knew all of the other horses and I knew how they were running,” Theobald said.
“Still, they’re quality but they’ve got to catch him. Catch me if you can.”
The experienced trainer said the drama at the barriers didn’t dent Dunderry’s hopes of another Towac Park win.
If anything, the issue at the start of the race only enhanced Dunderry’s odds, with Theobald praising the efforts of jockey Ken Dunbar, labelling him “one of the best jockeys in the Central Districts.”
“The longer (Dunderry) stays in there the more he revs himself up,” he said.
“He runs on nervous energy, and that’s why when he is out in front he’s just got this want to run away from the other horses because he knows they’re coming. I try and capitalise on it.”