Veteran Little Jo is a little beauty

HE almost missed the race entirely but what Stephen Aldridge saw he had every reason to like.

The Wodonga trainer scored an impressive victory in the last at his home track yesterday, with six-year-old mare Little Jo romping to a 4½- length victory in the Nordcon Land (58) Handicap over 1400 metres.

GALLERY: Big crowd enjoys perfect weather.

But due to an momentary lapse in power at Wodonga, some of the club’s televisions switched off as the horses jumped, leaving the likes of Aldridge briefly in the dark — literally.

However, order was quickly restored and by the time Aldridge had sprinted from the stables to the mounting yard and found a new vantage point, Little Jo was a few lengths clear at the home turn and storming towards her first win since April.

That victory was also over 1400 metres at Wodonga.

“The TV went off so I had to bolt out here,” a delighted Aldridge said moments after the win.

“My eyes aren’t good enough to watch it so I like the TVs.

“It was a good win.

“She does like it here at Wodonga but I was a little bit surprised by how much she won by.

“I went to Albury two weeks ago over 900 metres just to give her a good, hard hitout.

“I thought she might find the 1400 a bit hard, second up, but she did well.”

Brian Cox, who took out the first race of the afternoon with maiden Fear De Beer, claimed a distant second with Moscow.

The Phil Sweeney-trained mare Illusive Gail finished third, after being called up from the emergencies, in front of a bumper Boxing Day crowd in near perfect conditions for racing.

Aldridge said he was unsure of his plans for the veteran mare.

“I was thinking the Dederang Cup,” Aldridge said.

“I’m not really sure.

“The owners are in Scotland for 12 months so they’ve given me a bit of a loose rein with her.”

In a bold effort, apprentice jockey Kodie Grace backed up from a nasty fall in the fifth to ride So Kosher to a respectable fourth-place finish.

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