Report for Swifts Creek (Tambo Valley) 10th March 2008 by Bruce Willaton
There seems to be a fairly consistent tale with the weather in this part of the state but once again, Swifts Creek put on a beauty with hot sunny weather, a great crowd in attendance and with entertainment for all including the infamous Rooster Call for the kids, all made for a great days racing. Most of the horses were backing up from Hinnomunjie on Saturday.
Race 1 was the 1000m Maiden and it was a keen affair between the 5 runners. Eloquent Miss was sent out $1.85 favourite after his close up 2nd on the Saturday but it was outsider Ferruzano at $6.00 who brought home the bacon with John Fitzgerald in the saddle. Eloquent Miss and Lord Ensay ran 2nd & 3rd respectively.
The second race was a repeat of Saturday with Underfoot, despite a 1kg penalty, being too good once again as the $1.85 favourite and landing John Fitzgerald an early riding double. Grand Legend ran into 2nd place and Doraemon, who trainer Kerry Eveleigh of Bairnsdale only brought up for the day, managed to sneak into 3rd place.
Flaming Arch, who won the Maiden at Hinnomunjie and was confidently not nominated for the Maiden at Swifts Creek, was sent out in Race 3 as a $3.80 chance and duly saluted for trainer Rodney Wallace of Pakenham in a competitive 7 horse field. This was Karen Gillahan's first winner for the weekend and was well deserved as the Gillahan's (based in Ensay) are great supporters of the Alpine racing weekend. The two Manning horses Turning Yallah & Xaarsky filled the minor placings with Xaarsky starting $2.40 favourite.
Race 4 was the big one, the 113th running of the Nullamunjie Olive Oil Swift's Creek Cup. This time, the class horse of the field Warrigal Tom $1.70 favourite reversed the result from Saturday and got up for victory on the line from a tenacious Sang Bleu at $3.50. Last years winner Ensay trained by Margaret Scott of Bairnsdale was in the finish as well filling 3rd place. Winning jockey John Fitzgerald obviously enjoyed winning the Cup and landing a treble as he waved his whip to the crowd on the winning post. Jockey Peta Tait on 3rd placed Ensay fired in a protest for interference against the winner in the straight but this was later dismissed by the judges and the all clear was given.
The 5th race was a small field of 3 runners over 1200m, a Restricted (2) handicap. This was a big chance for the 3 horses to nail a victory after being unsuccessful earlier in the weekend. Once again, Karen Gillahan was to the fore and drove Urban Gyspy trained by husband Rob to the line a winner at $1.60 favourite. Red Rolls Royce was not all that far away in 2nd place whilst Eloquent Miss appeared to struggle mid race and was beaten a long last but also into 3rd place.
The closing race for the day and the weekend was Race 6 and the form from Saturday held up well. Once again, Kelly Bean at $2.60 with Glenn Pattison riding proved to be too strong with the ageless 9 year old Captain Cosmic close up in 2nd place as $2.40 equal favourite. Miss Gisborne ran consistently into 3rd place. The other $2.40 equal favourite, Master Girl, once again disappointed into 4th place.
Riding honours for the day went to John Fitzgerald with a treble and Karen Gillahan with a double. Training honours went to Rodney Wallace of Pakenham with a double.
Yea Cup on Saturday 15th March 2008.