Doomben races: Hulberts raise a toast to Moonshine Lady

Hotheaded mare Moonshine Lady highlighted why Peter and Will Hulbert and apprentice Adin Thompson have been so willing to persevere with her when scoring an upset in the Fillies & Mares Quality at Doomben.

The Hulberts have been frustrated so many times by Moonshine Lady’s manners at the start and in more recent times her penchant of jumping in the air at the jump, but they had a couple of tricks up their own sleeves for her on Saturday.

“She’s been a real problem this time in particular, launching herself into the air, awkward to put in. We had to bring her back to the jumpouts,” Peter Hulbert said.

“Will and I came up with the idea to get the pony on the offside of her and we put the browband on because she was launching in the air.

“It’s worked! I love it when a plan comes together.”

Moonshine Lady scored an upset win at Doomben. Picture: Trackside PhotographySource:The Courier-Mail

Moonshine Lady eased to $21, despite an eye-catching last start effort and Hulbert was just as thrilled for apprentice Thompson, who has ridden the mare in every one of her Queensland starts, winning four times.

“It’s good for Aidan, because he’s been a bit light on for rides lately and he showed years of experience. I’m very proud of him,” Hulbert said.

“Horses just run for him. That’s probably his biggest win in town, he works hard and I’m just so pleased for him.”

Thompson noted the better manners at the start proved a real difference.

“She’s given me a very rough time, but we’ve had to keep persisting with the attitude she gives us. We all know she can gallop. She’s one to persist with,” he said.

“Last start I thought she was an absolute moral to win, but she’s been just doing this rearing up in the gates. She didn’t do it (on Saturday), she jumped good.”

Les Ross’ unwavering faith in his apprentice Sheriden Tomlinson was showcased when the youngster gave a flawless display on Mishani Miss in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap (1050m).

Apprentice Sheriden Tomlinson produced a flawless ride on Mishani Miss. Picture: Greg IrvineSource:Gold Coast Bulletin

The trainer wanted to make sure Tomlinson had the best possible start to his Saturday city career and found the right horse in Mishani Miss, who did everything right in front, ensuring Tomlinson was a winner on his first day out.

He returned to scale to the biggest cheers of the day in front of a raucous cheer squad.

“He’s going plenty of places. Hopefully he stays here in Queensland a while,” Ross said. “It was lovely to be able to pull it off. Not only for him, but everyone involved with the horse.”

Owner Mike Crooks was among those on hand when Tomlinson returned, having been a key support figure in his progress.

“Les taught me everything I know and I’m very thankful for that. Mike has also been very good to me, so I’m stoked to be able to do it for them,” Tomlinson said.

Mishani Miss upset a strong betting play on Shooting For Gold, who ran an enormous race to come from last to gain second.

DOUBLE DELIGHT FOR COSTA

Two out of three ain’t bad and so it was for Michael Costa and his team at Doomben after the wins of Miss Cabaret and Getyourgreyon.

The miss came with Malahide, who was heavily backed to win the day’s $125,000 feature, but just blew out in the final 100m and missed a place behind Moonshine Lady.

Getyourgreyon was luckless last time out and for a good while yesterday it looked like he might meet a similar fate again, but a mid-race move by jockey Jag Guthmann-Chester alleviated those concerns and he proved a mile too good.

Costa expressed some pre-race reservations about Getyourgreyon’s recent hard racing, but he showed no signs of weariness and relished the step to 1600m.

“It was a little bit ugly, but he hasn’t put in a bad run this preparation,” he said.

The grey does it. Miss Cabaret makes it 2 wins from 2 starts in a photo at Doomben in Race 2. 👌 pic.twitter.com/DHMe78Y2Xi

Costa noted gangly filly Miss Cabaret is no oil-painting, but it hasn’t stopped her winning two from two and picking up nearly $80,000 on Saturday. Added on to the $24,000 she won on debut, it’s making the daughter of Top Echelon a good money spinner for connections.

Costa was given the filly to train and it’s fair to say he didn’t have the highest of expectations early doors.

“She’s a 17 hands (high) grey filly who doesn’t have the nicest head in the world, but it just goes to show you can’t judge a book by its cover,” Costa said.

“If you’ve got a bit of ticker and go about you, it’s worth a lot.

“She’s still very raw and green and even though we don’t want to get carried away with the opposition she’s beaten so far, there’s enough upside to give the owners a spring in their step.”

Costa is uncertain whether he will press on or give Miss Cabaret a break.

THE VERDICT

GOLDEN GIRL DEFIES STUNNING DRIFT

David Vandyke was the most nervous man at Doomben before Golden Mean defied one of the biggest betting drifts in memory on Saturday.

An odds-on pop all week and Saturday morning, Golden Mean drifted to an alarming $5.50 by the time they jumped, so she had a very relieved trainer when she crossed the line.

“That’s the biggest drift I’ve ever seen and I’ve never been so nervous before a race,” Vandyke said.

Punters only had eyes for former Victorian Island Daze, who ended up starting the $2.20 favourite, but folded in the straight and missed the place.

“If she had run poorly, the presumption would have been that I knew more than what I did,” Vandyke said. “All I was thinking was that at least I’ve backed it myself if they happened to ask me what the reason was.”

We're underway at Doomben with Golden Mean taking out the first after a big drift in the market 👌 pic.twitter.com/JQd8EhNMkZ

Stewards did not send any message to the barriers to put jockey Ryan Maloney on notice, but in any case, he was unperturbed by what happened in the betting ring.

“I don’t care (about the market), but it’s a good result for the punters who stuck with her,” he said. “I was a bit worried when the leader (Island Daze) was getting it too easy in front. My mare only does what she has to and she might have felt the track a bit too.”

Ladbrokes reported Golden Mean was still a losing result for the book, but Island Daze would clearly have been worse. “To be honest, the drift seemed to spook a few punters off the race completely,” a spokesman said.

With Cloak completing a stable double a few races later, it continued a stunning start to the season for Vandyke, who has had 14 winners from just 26 starters since August 1, with Maloney riding 11 from 19 for him. Cloak was the 10th favourite to salute from 13 runners this season.

Maloney is also riding the crest of a wave, with another treble on Saturday, taking his season record to 22 wins from just 65 rides (nearly 34 per cent). He’s striking at 57 per cent on favourites so far this season.

David Vandyke and Ryan Maloney have made a flying start to the new season. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

SCOTT TO BE HAPPY

Though not on the same scale as Vandyke, Scott Morrissey continued his purple patch of form when Parko took out the final event at Doomben. Morrissey has had nine winners from 35 runners since June at Eagle Farm and Doomben. That’s compared to just two winners from 49 in the 12 months prior.

BIG MOVES MISS MARK

The assumption of “they knew” going hand-in-hand with Brisbane betting markets didn’t ring true on Saturday.

While four favourites did salute, the big moves missed the mark, while there were others unwanted by the market that still won.

After the Golden Mean drift, Maddi Rocks also had the betting ring wobbles, getting out to $2.10 after trading as short as $1.45 on Saturday morning. Clearly the 49 days between runs and out to 1350m had punters a little worried, but class prevailed in the end.

Magic Conqueror was the big firmer in the second event, but failed to place and neither did Malahide, who was backed into a skinny $1.75 for her first-up assignment.

Shooting For Gold ($2.20) usurped Mishani Miss ($2.90) as betting favourite in Race 8, but again, the move went the wrong way.

MALAHIDE FALLS SHORT

The lengthy break between runs took its toll on Malahide, who firmed from an opening $1.90 and much better earlier in the week.

Matt McGillivray went from thinking he had the race in the bag when he darted up the inside at the 200m mark to being in big trouble a couple of strides later.

“At the 300m I thought I’m going to fly past them,” he said. “At the 150m she just started to feel the pinch and that last 50m she really hit the brick wall. She needed that run big time.”

Malahide failed to fire at Doomben. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

NO MAGIC

Brad Stewart said beaten favourite Magic Conqueror wasn’t comfortable when things got a bit willing approaching the turn in the three-year-olds’ race at Doomben. “I was following the winner, which is where I wanted to be, but he just got crowded up. Ninety per cent of horses it wouldn’t bother them, but he didn’t want a bar of it,” Stewart said.

Magic Conqueror dropped out soon after, seemingly set to finish near last, but he picked up again in the straight and finished off strongly for fourth.

GLORY ON A RUN

Jim Byrne suggested a fourth straight victory on Saturday won’t be the end of the winning sequence being put together by Run For Glory, who has charged through the grades since coming to Queensland.

Trainer Tony Gollan has been able to place the four-year-old perfectly to date, with two wins at Caloundra now backed up by repeat Doomben successes. “He really feels like he will take that next step,” Byrne said. “He can switch off and has a good turn of foot.”

Originally published asLittle trick works a treat with troublesome Lady

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