‘Career-best day’ as Cowlings snares Gundy treble

Mathew Cahill guided the Scott Collings-trained Extravagant Lad to victory in the 1100m Maiden Plate at Gundagai Adelong Race Club on Friday.

Scott Collings was all smiles at Gundagai Adelong Race Club on Friday, with the Goulburn trainer landing a winning treble, while also taking out the $50,000 Martin Hay Earthmoving Snake Gully Flying Handicap.

“That would be my best day at the races to date, training three winners at the same meeting,” Collings said. 

“It was a great day and I’m really pleased with how our horses went.”

Collings combined with Mathew Cahill in the opening event, the $40,000 Gundagai Regional Funerals 1100m Country Maiden plate, with Extravagant Lad starting a $2.25 favourite before running away for an easy 1.71 length win over Deep Space (Kym Davison/Simon Miller) and Lord Remy (Kevin Cassidy/Winona Costin).

“There was a lot of confidence going into that race and a lot of planning went into having him ready for that race and the horse won like I thought he would,” Collings said.

“We were very lucky to have Matty riding too. It was plan we had in place for a while and we booked him nice and early and took the horse down to Wagga a fortnight ago for a trial and Matty rode him, and it worked out well.”

In easily the most impressive victory on the eight-race-program, London Gal started the $2.70 favourite and dominated her rivals to win the 1100m Class One Handicap that doubled as the $35,000 heat of the Rising Star Series for apprentice jockeys.

1.5kg claiming apprentice Amy McLucas took the ride and the pair seemingly never got out of second gear when winning by nearly six lengths from Romero (Matthew Dale/Madison Waters) and Farage (Barbara Joseph, Paul and Matt Jones/Nyssa Burrells). 

“It looked the right race. She had been getting back and storming home and when stepping up to 1100m, she looked hard to beat,” Collings said.

“I was really impressed with the way she won. We didn’t know if she would handle the wet and she ticked that box off pretty well.”

Collings then bookended the meeting, winning the final race on the program when Bombdiggity won the Snake Gully Flying Handicap over the 1000m.

Starting at double-figure odds ($11), Amy McLucas took the Goulburn runner forward early before holding on gamely to win by three quarters of a length from Shores Of Avalon (Keith Dryden/Jeff Penza) and Belieber (Anthony Mountney/Robyn Freeman-Key). 

“I couldn’t believe the price the horse was,” Collings said.

“The horse has only ever been beaten once when racing first-up, and that was when he ran second at Hawkesbury.

“He has never won a race carrying less than 60kg and we had Amy booked a long time out and the horse only carried 55.5kg.”

Despite the rain and tough racing conditions, Collings thought the Gundagai surface played well on Friday.

“I’m probably a bit biased because I trained three winners on the day, but for a wet day, the track raced really well and it is a credit to the club,” Collings said. 

Collings’ stable has been in fine form in recent times, with the Goulburn trainer preparing three winners in July to cap off a strong 2020/21 before training six winners to start this season, including five winners from his last nine starters.

“We are pretty happy. Ten Bells has won two TAB Highways. Garratt Road won at Albury last start and the stable is going well,” Collings said.

Snake Gully Cup meeting results

In other winners on the day, Sweet Home Alabama won for trainer Tony Newing, giving Mathew Cahill two wins on the program when greeting the judge first in the $35,000 1180m Maiden Handicap.

Starting a well-supported $2.15 favourite, the Gosford visitor bolted in for an easy four-length win from Luna Glide (Andrew Dale/Jack Martin and Pure Harmony (Joseph Ible/Shaun Guymer).

Tejori ($3.70) was the first of Nick Olive’s three winners in the 1180m Class Three Handicap, winning for Jeff Penza by three and a half lengths from Choccy Gaf (Joe Cleary/Jake Pracey-Holmes) and Chevconi (Gayna Williams/Anthony Cavallo).

Jerilderie trainer Phil Sweeney combined with Winona Costin to win the 1400m Class One Handicap with Pay The Deeler ($16), which won by 0.69 of a length from Muwaard (Andrew Dale/Jack Martin) and Controversial Miss (Craig Weeding/Jake Duffy).

Olive and Brendan Ward than won the $50,000 Country Magic 1400m Benchmark 58 Handicap with Sly Song surprising some punters when winning at $11 from Would Be King (Doug Gorrel/Winona Costin) and Miss Elsie May (Wayne Carroll/Amy McLucas).

In the feature race of the day, Ready To Humble started favourite ($3.70) and was a good winner in the $100,000 Snake Gully Cup for Olive and Penza, beating a fast-finishing Upper House (Norm Gardner/Mathew Cahill) by 1.28 lengths with early leader, Peyton Place (Greg Stephens/Molly Bourke), hanging on gamely for third.

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