Echuca Racing Club a happy hunting ground for district owners Simon Maddox, Rhys Archard and Craig Sutton.LUKE MCMANUS July 9, 2014 3:36am
Emphatic cheers echoed around the Echuca Racing Club’s betting ring following Count Encosta’s impressive return to the track on Monday.
District owners Simon Maddox, Rhys Archard and Craig Sutton willed the seven-year-old around the heavy eight track during the $15,000 race six handicap, with the gelding exceeding all expectations to trump Kinselmac Manner and Steely Gray by half a length.
Jockey Brad Rawiller timed the run beautifully, emerging from the pack with 200m to go before storming home in the horse’s first race back from a four-month spell.
Count Encosta’s win, the horses’ fourth from 56 starts, handed trainer Darren Weir a 232nd triumph for the 2013-14 season.
‘‘It was surprising, we didn’t know how we would go,’’ Archard said.
‘‘Even Darren (Weir) didn’t know what to expect.
‘‘We (Rhys and father trainer Daryl) had Leveraction (fifth) running in the same race and when he struggled, I started cheering Count Encosta home when it came through the middle.’’
For the local owners, it was a significant victory given Count Encosta’s long road to Echuca racecourse on Monday.
A former resident at the Archards’ Echuca stable, Count Encosta was shipped off to Weir less than a month ago, the horse’s fifth trainer since 2009.
The Archards took on Count Encosta during last year’s spring but Rhys remained a stakeholder when the gelding was moved to Weir’s beach-side stable in Warnambool.
‘‘It was doing nothing up here so we thought we’d send him down to Warnambool near the beach and sand dunes .
The performance marked Count Encosta’s first win since 2010 when, trained by Randwick’s John Thompson for the once powerful Patinack Farm Stables, the then three-year-old enjoyed a run of three consecutive wins, among them featuring the $175,000 group two Tulloch Stakes.
The horse was Archard’s star performer on the day, with promising but unlucky displays coming from Blue Jangles (fourth in race two) and Vivacious Miss (fifth in race seven).
Other district trainers, including Gwenda Johnston and Michael Cornish and Donna Gaskin unable to feature among the placings.
After spending two games in the WAFL Michael Barlow has been recalled to play for Fremantle against St Kilda this weekend.
Three Yarrawonga footballers have excelled at interleague level, representing the Ovens and Murray against Hampden in Warrnambool on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
The Moama-Echuca Border Raiders took a big stride into the Bendigo Amateur Soccer League for 2016 with a solid, four-grade performance at Eaglehawk’s Truscott Reserve on Sunday.
THE town’s schools celebrated Education Week last week.
Kyabram Football Club will host a family day next weekend.
Where there’s a Will, there’s a way
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
HEATHCOTE Pre-school staff members were overwhelmed by the response to their annual Garden Express Spring Bulb fundraiser.
Youth services in Cobram have received a helping hand thanks to a new appointment made possible through a community store.
Plans for the release of a carp herpes virus has captured the attention of international press.
Farmers from northern Victoria will join a protest rally over milk prices in Melbourne tomorrow, Wednesday.
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