Under the lights, and racing in front of a big crowd at Canterbury on Friday night, the Barry Molloy, Forbes trained Lake Lugarno was a brilliant winner of the Benchmark 76 Handicap.
Running the fastest time of the night for the 1100 metres races, Lake Lugarno with Sydney apprentice James Innes junior In the saddle, led virtually from start to finish.
In front by a length from Can’t Find Snippy when heads turned for home, Lake Lugarno ($4.80) extended the lead down the straight and won by nearly three lengths from Difficult To Get (Tye Angland, $5) and Alert By Sea (Brock Ryan, $31).
The $3.30 favourite Blowing Kisses from the high profile John Thompson stable at Randwick finished amongst the unplaced division.
Raced by R.F. Mullavey, the Attunga stud, and West Wyalong veterinary surgeon Geoff Boal, Lake Lugarno has an imposing record of 9 wins and 7 placings from 17 starts.
Barry Molloy, a long time successful trainer, has a good team of assistants including track work rider Catherine Newcombe who has been closely involved with Lake Lugarno since the now five year old mare came to the Forbes stables as an un-raced filly.
Before retiring from race riding, Catherine Newcombe was aboard for the first two wins by Lake Lugarno at Wellington and Cowra and since then the winning riders have been Cowra jockey Mathew Cahill (five wins) and apprentices Chris Williams and James Innes junior with a win each.
Feature wins for Lake Lugarno include the Wellington Town Plate, the Cup Day Sprint at Orange and the Dulhunty at Dubbo when defeating the two best sprinters in the region, Danish Lace and Zarhron.
Last season Lake Lugarno won six races the same amount as the champion mare Winx and this led to the Forbes mare being labelled in the Sky Racing interview after the Canterbury win as “the Winx Of The West”.
Upcoming Group 1 Races
Saturday, February 10 C F Orr Stakes (VIC) Caulfield
Saturday, February 17 Lightning Stakes (VIC) Flemington
Saturday, February 24 Blue Diamond Stakes (VIC) Caulfield
Saturday, February 24 Oakleigh Plate (VIC) Caulfield
Saturday, February 24 Futurity Stakes (VIC) Caulfield