Between Alison Smith, Peter Cornish, Sonja Sharp and Brad Draper, there's a stack of prospective Orange horses mixing it up at the tracks every day.
But when you're looking at the week just gone, Brad Draper's Seawatch turned in the most impressive race of the bunch as the five-year-old stormed home to claim a second-place prize at Wellington on Thursday, a result that the gelding needed after less-than-ideal preparation thus far.
Draper indicated that his horse would continue to improve as the preparation went on and that claim was beginning to look shaky after three unfortunate outcomes in-a-row at Wellington Parkes and Bathurst but Thursday's effort showed us what his horse is capable of.
He raced in the $20,000 Allendale Merino Stud Benchmark 50 Handicap (900 metres) which was the shortest distance Seawatch had run over since March.
Seawatch ($12) drew barrier five and jockey Webster-Hawes looked to take him to the front immediately which is no surprise considering Draper dubbed the five-year-old as an out-and-out leader before his last start.
He shared the lead with eventual winner and race favourite Chevron Prince ($2.60) who darted out quickly from the fourth barrier.
The pairing showed more toe than a Roman sandal throughout the first half of the race, leaving the rest of the pack in their wake for what would be the rest of the race.
It looked a 50-50 proposition when the two horses came around the bend as they were neck-and-neck with the favourite slightly ahead of Seawatch on the outside with 300 to go.
As it turned out, Chevron Prince had too much class for Draper's gelding as it held on to win by a length over Seawatch while And There Is More ($8) finished in third position.
The win marked two-in-a-row for Brett Thompson's gelding as he won at the same venue just two weeks prior.
A spell for Smith's promising prospect
While her most recent results haven't been ideal, Alison Smith knows she's got a gem in the paddock right now in the four-year-old gelding Vaquero.
Since coming back from a spell in February, he placed in three of his six races and registered an impressive win at a big price at Towac Park on March 22.
"Every jockey who's rode him says he's going to be a really nice horse," Alison Smith said.
His most recent start was a sixth-placed effort in a tough field at Hawkesbury over the 1800 metres where he showed good fight at a price ($31). Smith doesn't currently have any upcoming action.
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