GAWLER trainer Darren Magro’s decision to walk his local track the night before last Wednesday’s race meeting helped his runner Arctic Blaze score victory in the Barossa Volkswagen Class One Handicap (1215m).
“I walked from the winning post back up the home straight, around to the 1200 metres (mark) and back, and felt the best going was out towards the centre of the track,” Magro said.
“I told Clare (winning jockey Clare Lindop) to bring the mare out wide in the home straight and she was able to sprint to victory.”
Arctic Blaze ($17) drew clear to win by two-and-a-quarter lengths from A Little Chunky ($4), with Red Scimitar ($9) one-and-a-quarter lengths away third.
Magro explained he had been to Naracoorte and Port Lincoln seeking a first win with the four-year-old mare.
“I’ve always known she had ability, but was prepared to travel to pick up her first win, which we did at Port Lincoln,” he said.
“I thought we might have had to go back for another win, but (last Wednesday) she stepped up in great style.
“I loved the way she ran through the line and Clare said she was confident the mare could get a bit further in distance.”
Meanwhile, popular Adelaide Crows footballer Rory Atkins might have been at pre-season training on the Gold Coast, but, hopefully, he tuned in to hear his racehorse Voluto salute in the Gawler South Bakery Benchmark 56 Handicap (1515m).
Voluto ($4.20 favourite), trained by Travis Doudle and ridden by Jamie Kah, scored a half-head win from Willochra ($4.80), with House Of Wax ($5) nearly a length away in third.
Similarly, Centurius could be a horse to follow after his last-to-first win in the Gawler Feb 28th Twilight Maiden (1720m).
Trained by David Tootell, Centurius was heavily backed from $6 into $3.70 and scored a one-and-a-quarter-length win from Gold Maestro ($151), with Mutachatter ($19) a neck away in third.
Lastly, grey mare Gracena showed the benefit of a break with an impressive first-up win in the Happy 80th Birthday Barry Argent Maiden Plate (1115m).
Trained at Morphettville by Phillip Stokes and ridden by Domenic Tourneur, Gracena ($6) finished strongly ahead of the heavily backed Shall We Hope ($7 into $3.60 favourite) and Oh Mo ($3.90).
The next Gawler meeting is on Wednesday, February 28, and will be a twilight event, with the first race being run mid-afternoon.