THE Irish-bred Bell Ex One, a winner here for Ray Cody and latter third in the 2022 Fred Winter Hurdle at Cheltenham to Brazil, has scored his biggest win in Australia since his debut victory in last August’s JJ Houlihan Hurdle.

Stepping out at Warrnambool in the A$125,000 Lafferty Hurdle over 3,200 metres, the Excelebration gelding, sent out at the luxurious price of $16, posted a three-quarters of a length win over the race favourite Circle The Sun.

“Steve and Jess have done a wonderful job with him, and they’ve had him with a good base of fitness in him,” said trainer Andrew Bobbin, tipping a hat to Steve Pateman and his wife who trained the horse until their suspension last month.

“I just had to maintain him and hope that he stayed out of trouble. (Jockey) Will Gordon did a bloody great job.

“We’ve had runners for two and a half years now and never thought that we’d be saddling a feature hurdle winner so quickly. But if you get the right stock, we’ve got the right staff and the right facilities, so onwards and upwards.”

Oasis proves Mighty in the Thackeray

HAVING bagged the Lafferty Hurdle at Warrnambool with Bell Ex One trainer Andrew Bobbin completed Sunday’s feature race double with a win in the A$125,000 Thackeray Steeplechase over 3,450 metres with the British-bred Mighty Oasis.

“I just didn’t think he was going to get there,” said Bobbin. “I was going to run him at Warracknabeal in a 58 (2,000m) and I woke up Friday morning thinking do I run him on the flat or take on the big boys? “And I thought, ‘bugger it, he goes well at Warrnambool’.”

Trailing the Grand Annual winner, the Irish-bred Rockstar Ronnie with Willie McCarthy up, Tommy Ryan and Mighty Oasis chimed in for a share of the lead approaching the last. Awkwardly over that final fence, they gifted Rockstar Ronnie a three-length lead.

With the race seemingly blown, Ryan and Mighty Oasis struggled to get back on terms until the final 50 metres. Hauling the race out of the ashes, Mighty Oasis got the bob on the line to secure a remarkable victory by the barest of margins.

“I can’t believe it to be honest. To be fair to him he galloped all the way to the line and did not give in,” said Ryan who had plenty of praise for trainer Andrew Bobbin.

“It’s not bad to train their first feature and then train a double. He’s a very, very good trainer and a great fella as well. He puts a lot of thought into it as well, he’s going places.”

McCarthy notches up a ‘Bool treble

WILLIAM McCarthy capped a productive day’s riding at Warrnambool on Sunday with a treble.

From six jumps and two highweight flats making up the eight-race card, McCarthy got off to a flyer winning the opener, a 3,200m maiden hurdle, aboard the Rip Van Winkle gelding The Rattlin’ Bog for trainer Aaron Purcell, before backing up in the second with a win for Ciaron Maher and David Eustace on the French-bred Le Baol, by Orpen, in another maiden hurdle. Not done, McCarthy took out the Mark Primmer Memorial Steeplechase over 3,450 metres, also for Maher and Eustace, on the Helmet gelding Roland Garros.

“He’s jumping well. He’s jumping so much better than when he’s begun,” said McCarthy. “He’s very clever now and he just outstayed them. He’s gone hard, and that’s the way he likes to go.

“It was a great training performance by Ciaron, David and Declan. there’s many cogs in this wheel and we are having a great day.”

Chorlton Lane strikes for Irish breeding in Rosehill feature race

SOLD for 27,000gns at the 2021 Tattersalls Somerville Yearling Sale by Co. Westmeath’s Tally Ho Stud, Chorlton Lane, having left the Charlie Fellows stable for Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, won his Australian debut at Rosehill on Saturday.

The Mehmas gelding was well supported to start a $3.30 favourite in the 1,300m Farnan Handicap.

“I had pretty good confidence going into this from the stable,” said jockey Jason Collet.

“It wasn’t just a case of ‘he just wins’. It was just so long as he does things right, he’ll be at his best late and should be too good for them”.

A maiden winner at Newcastle before placing second at Kempton Park in January, this was Chorlton Lane’s third career start.

Perfect record

On the same Rosehill card another Irish-bred maintained a perfect record in Australia, as the Zoffany gelding Fawkner Park made it four from four in Australia winning the Toyota Forklifts Handicap over 2,400 metres for Annabel Neasham.

Formerly trained by Joseph O’Brien for Lloyd Williams, Fawkner Park was purchased last year for A$120,000 by Bennett Racing.

“We think he can, in time, get to stakes grade,” said stable representative Aaron Lau. “It is more so the way he puts his opposition away, his turn of speed iS electric and he relaxes so well in his races.

“He is very versatile so anything is an option at this point but we will slowly get him through his grades.”