Sale double for Zahra

David Braithwaite

GREENWATTLE Racecourse was in an ideal condition for Tuesday’s Sale race meeting.

The track recovered well from the weekend’s rain, beginning the meeting rated “good four” before being upgraded to “good three” after race two.

Jockey Mark Zahra had an early winning double in his only two rides of the day.

Zahra rode Godolphin runner Camaguey, trained by James Cummings, to victory in the opening race, the 1212 metre two-year-old maiden.

Camaguey followed early leader Zuma before making a move going into the home straight. Also charging home was Feudal Empire, with Camaguey winning in a photo finish.

Zahra then won race three, the 1112m maiden plate, on board short-priced favourite Limited Vision, trained by Anthony and Sam Freedman.

Mofang led into the straight, but three-year-old gelding Limited Vision lifted to win by two and a half lengths.

The run of the day arguably came in race seven, the 1212m benchmark 58 handicap.

Any Given Bender, trained at Moe by Lenny Xuereb and ridden by Teodore Nugent, was in the lead throughout the race, but was challenged by favourite Bianconi Magic and Starring Role. The nine-year-old gelding, following up from a win at Yarra Valley and third placing at Stony Creek, looked done, but lifted late to win by less than half a length from Bianconi Magic.

Canadian Gold, trained by Leon and Troy Corstens at Flemington and ridden by Lachlan King, won race two, the three-year-old fillies maiden plate over 1112m.

In race four, the 1427m fillies and mares handicap, Sheeza Factor broke away to a five-length lead, but the rest of the field, led by Southern Magnolia, caught up by the top of the straight.

Southern Magnolia and Sheeza Factor battled for the win, with the former, ridden by Pat Moloney and trained by Colin Little at Caulfield, getting up by two lengths.

Captain Spud, trained by Peter Gelagotis at Moe and ridden by Jye McNeil, took out race five, the 1427m benchmark 64 handicap, in a more emphatic fashion than the win at Sale his previous start.

The four-year-old gelding, who was favourite, sat behind Milord, then went away in the straight to win by four lengths from Magnetism.

Returning from a three-week break after winning at Bendigo, Gracias Amigo, trained by Grahame Begg at Caulfield and ridden by Luke Currie, won race six, the 1744m benchmark 65 handicap, by two and a quarter lengths.

In the final race, the 1012m benchmark 64 handicap, Stravain, trained by Robbie Griffiths and Mathew de Kock at Cranbourne and ridden by Matt Allen, chased down Fast ‘N’ Deep in the straight to win by less than half a length.

Racing returns to Greenwattle for Maffra Cup day on Sunday, March 28.

A LOCAL family is behind the longest-priced Australian group one winner.

Local brothers Clint and Clayton Kelly, and Clint’s wife Rebecca, bred Lunar Fox on their property near Sale.

Lunar Fox was a 300-1 chance for the recent Australian Guineas at Flemington, but a big finish saw the three-year-old colt claim the $600,000 winner’s purse by half a length.

Only 1986 Caulfield Guineas winner Abaridy, at 250-1, has won an Australian group one race with bigger odds.

The Guineas win earned Lunar Fox, trained by Paul Preusker at Horsham, a wild card into the All Star Mile at Moonee Valley, in which he finished fourth after being in contention late.

The $210,000 earn from finishing fourth in the All Star Mile pushed Lunar Fox’s career prize money over the $1 million mark.

Since his first race in September 2019, the son of Foxwedge and Grant’s Moon has three wins and a second placing from 14 starts.

Lunar Fox’s first big win came in the group two Sires’ Produce Stakes at Flemington in March last year.

Group one success is likely to gain the Kellys the attention of buyers and trainers looking for the next champion.