Stake money stays in Tassie

In a great result for Tasmanian racing, local horses repelled the interstate raiders in all four feature events at Elwick yesterday.

 Rebel Bride, trained at Spreyton by Leon Wells, won the $150,000 Bow Mistress Trophy for the second year in a row to confirm her status as the state's top mare.

 Elwick trainer Gary White won the $100,000 Tasmanian Derby with outsider Ollie's Gold, ending his drought in the only big race to elude him.

 Grand Tycoon made it five wins from five starts in the $100,000 Elwick Stakes, adding to Spreyton trainer Barry Campbell's great record in feature two-year-old races.

 And reigning horse of the year Geegees Blackflash, trained by John Luttrell, showed he was still in contention for a second Hobart Cup when he comfortably won the $50,000 Jockey Club Cup.

The Bow Mistress is a special race for Wells, who first won it 13 years ago with Fyndarn Ali.

``It means a lot to my family, especially my wife, Maree, as her late father, Claude Best, trained Bow Mistress,'' Wells said.

``I've won other good races like the Devonport Cup but this is the most emotional race for us.''

Rebel Bride, ridden by Stephen Maskiell, finished too strongly for Victorian favourite Tariana, who was ridden by Wells's good friend and former stable apprentice Craig Newitt.

Although she drew a wide barrier, there were no excuses for Tariana as she quickly crossed to the fence to lead, while Rebel Bride spent most of the race three wide.

``I think this proves she's the best mare in the state and, arguably, the best horse,'' Wells said.

``Everything being in order, she will now go on  the $100,000 Vamos Stakes at Mowbray in just over a fortnight and, if she pulls up well, we may then look for a race in Melbourne.''

Wells said that a lot of the credit for Rebel Bride's success belonged to owners Chris and Sharon Wickham.

``They do a lot of work with her - Chris rides her trackwork himself - and they've been very loyal to me,'' the trainer said.

 Ollie's Derby: Trainer Gary White shook off a jinx and jockey Jason Maskiell took an important step along the comeback trail when Ollie's Gold won the Tasmanian Derby.

White has had numerous seconds in the three-year-old classic  during his long career, including last year when he saddled up favourite Barysh Quest.

At $17, Ollie's Gold was probably one of his least-fancied runners, but he got the job done with the help of a top Maskiell ride.

``It was a gun ride - that's what won the race,'' White said after Ollie's Gold tracked the leader all the way and then got an inside run in the home straight.

For Maskiell, the win confirmed that he was back on track after alcohol and drug problems threatened to wreck his career.

The former boom apprentice has been making steady progress since returning to the saddle but needed a big-race win to put him in the spotlight.

He is likely to try to resurrect his Melbourne career after the Tasmanian summer carnival.

White said that Ollie's Gold was not an easy horse to ride.

``He's got attitude - he's just a big kid - and he gave Jason a hard time early in the race before he got him to relax,'' the trainer said.

``The horse is still six months away from maturing mentally and he has a huge future.''

Ollie's Gold was bred by Mike Norman, who races the gelding with nine partners.

``They are great owners, they never complain and they deserve to win a race like this,'' White said.

Rebel Bride, ridden by Stephen Maskiell, gathers in Tariana (Craig Newitt) to win the group 3 Bow Mistress Trophy in Hobart yesterday.  Pictures: PETER STAPLES

Rebel Bride, ridden by Stephen Maskiell, gathers in Tariana (Craig Newitt) to win the group 3 Bow Mistress Trophy in Hobart yesterday. Pictures: PETER STAPLES


Discuss "Stake money stays in Tassie"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.