A $2500 INVESTMENT less than two weeks ago returned $10,000 when Dornoch cruised home in the Barossa Volkswagen Four-Year-Old & Over Class One (1206m) at the Gawler & Barossa Jockey Club on Thursday.
Having his first start for Gawler trainer Gary Searle, Dornoch ($12), ridden by Jason Holder, scored a long-neck win from Adelad ($2.60 favourite), with Willochra ($4) a length away third.
Searle said he and fellow owners Gary Stewart and John Martin purchased the four-year-old as a potential stayer.
“We got him over from Victoria and, because he was race fit, decided to put him in and have a look at him,” Searle said.
“He certainly didn’t work in brilliant fashion last week and the rider said he might be a horse which would like soft tracks.
“He really surprised me, but he did have blinkers on (during the race), which he didn’t wear in track work.”
Race goers witnessed the debut of a potential star when Éclair Starlight won the Rotary Club of Gawler Appreciation Fillies & Mares Maiden (1206m).
Trainer Phillip Stokes declared her an “Oaks filly” as he waited for the three-year-old to return to scale.
Backed from $3.20 into $2.70, Éclair Starlight, having her first start, charged home to score by one-and-a-half lengths from Foie Gras ($1.50 favourite), with Miss Bomber Belle ($21) nearly a length away third.
Ridden by apprentice Chris Caserta, Éclair Starlight settled back in the field of five before warming up over the final 200 metres and hitting the line powerfully.
“She cost me $500,000 as a yearling and was bought with staying races in mind,” Stokes said.
“She has shown promise, and we have deliberately given her time.”
Lastly, South-Eastern trained Ballast, after a big betting plunge, took out the Coopers Session Ale Benchmark 56 Handicap
Bookmakers opened up at $16 on Ballast, which eventually ran at the much shorter $8.50 price.
The Dean Saxon-trained galloper, ridden by Emily Finnegan, fought on strongly to score a long-neck win from Free The Wind ($6), with Parentive ($61) a length away third.
Free The Wind trailed the winner and tried to rail up inside him over the final stages, but Ballast proved too strong.