BOLD frontrunner Sergeant Major relished a return to his home track to score an all-the-way victory at Albury racecourse on Saturday.
Trained by Kym Davison and ridden by Nick Souquet, Sergeant Major ($5.50) pounced on the early lead despite drawing the widest barrier in the 13-horse field.
Once in front, Souquet rated the gelding to perfection as Sergeant Major fought on strongly in the home straight to stave off the challenge of race favourite Indigo Belle ($3.40-fav) and long-shot Tamoure ($21).
“It was a terrific effort and he seems to like that course and distance with three wins on the track,” Davison said.
“Each time it has also been virtually from the outside gate.
“He’s a bit different in that if he finds the lead he has got good cruising speed.
“If he is left alone he seems to be able to fight on all right.
“But if he has to sit up outside another horse he doesn’t seem to find the line as well.
“Every race he has won he has led, kicked away on straightening and kept going.”
Sergeant Major was on the quick back-up after having run third at his previous start at Wagga last Saturday.
“We don’t do much with the horse on the training track because he has got fairly ordinary joints,” he said.
“We do a lot of swimming and jogging and take him down to the river every morning for half an hour.
“We virtually don’t even throw a saddle on him in between runs.”
Davison said he would let the dust settle before deciding on Sergeant Major’s next assignment.
“He has jarred up a bit so we will give him a light week,” he said.
“There is plenty of racing on over the Christmas and New Year period so we will just make sure he has fully recovered before we go again.”
Premier Albury trainer Brett Cavanough extended his recent winning streak when Via Camino ($9) broke through for his first career win from start number four.
Via Camino is raced by a syndicate including Albury Racing Club president David Wallace and committeeman Steve Baxter.
More than 2000 racegoers enjoyed the first of the club’s two festive meetings with another meet this Saturday.
Queanbeyan trainer Myffy Rae made the trek to Albury worthwhile when Spanish Shoes cruised to an emphatic victory with apprentice jockey Jackie Beriman aboard on Saturday. Spanish Shoes was backed into the $3.60-favourite after opening at $4. The victory denied premier Albury trainer Brett Cavanough a winning double with Luck’s Elusive finishing second with Ron Bell aboard. Rae had four runners at the meeting with stablemate Interruption finishing third earlier in the day. Pictures: PETER MERKESTEYN