THE locals did their best but the Mick Price trained Summer Glen was simply a class above in the $20,000 Bet365 BM64 Handicap over 1209m at Echuca racecourse’s last meeting of the season yesterday.
The win was even more impressive as it was the four-year-old mare’s first start back after a 33-week spell – and she missed her trial at Cranbourne last week due to a mix-up at the track. Stable representative Ben Elam said despite the setback they still expected the horse to go well.
“We brought her here almost as a substitute for her trial as it was a 1200m race but we were not surprised to see her get up as she has been running pretty well,” Elam said.
“She had three starts at Flemington in her last prep and did pretty well, including a third in a $120,000 race – and she wasn’t for behind either,” he said.
“Today was a pretty straightforward outing for her as she races up to the 2000m mark and apart from winning she has had a pretty good blow as well.
“I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the boss started looking around for a few Saturday starts in the not-too-distant future.”
Jockey Jack Hill was pretty pleased with the stable’s decision to come and race the horse at Echuca – he had five rides on the day and just Summer Glen as a winner and he had ranked her his best bet.
Even though he had never ridden the horse he said he realised she was the better one in the field.
‘‘SHE really was a class above that field and it showed from the minute we jumped,” Hill said.
“Mick (Price) didn’t have too much to tell me before the race, he just said no need to overthink it, just let her go,” Hill said.
“She jumped well and that’s exactly what I did, just let her run,” he said.
“Her race was so easy, she seems to have a good temperament and when we hit the turn home there was a gap, we went straight through and it was all over.”
Echuca-trained Bossy Miss, from Micheal Newton’s stable, was a valiant second but just did not have the turn of foot to go with the winner down the straight.
The five-year-old mare ran second here on March 25 and that was as close as she got again yesterday.
Seymour jockey Tahlia Hope had the most success of the day, winning the $22,000 Echuca Newsagency Maiden Plate over 1312m with the Darren Weir raced Sarkozy before taking out the last of the day – the $18,000 Independent Cranes BM58 Handicap over 1009m – with the Ciaron Maher trained Omorose.
Linda Meech, who is leading the Victorian jockeys’ premiership, backed up her double at Benalla last week with a good win on Magmellou for Cranbourne trainer Ken Keys in the fifth of the day, the $18,000 Murphy’s Turf & Landscaping BM58 Handicap over 1618m.
The next races at Echuca are July 7 and the new season starts on Monday August 20.