Luck helped Lawson to first double
PINK blinkers worn by Wayne Lawson’s former crack sprinter Starlactic proved a lucky omen for debutant Starfonte at Grafton yesterday.
Starlactic, who started favourite in the 2006 Ramornie won by For Valour, carried the hood (blinkers) in each of his 12 wins that netted connections just shy of $300,000.
When the gelding, who put electrician Lawson on the training map, retired in May, 2010, the blinkers were also retired as a keepsake memento.
“I might have used them once on Submerge when he won but basically they (the blinkers) have been kept at home since Nipper (Starlactic) retired,” Lawson said.
“The owners were keen to use them today. It turned out to be a lucky omen.”
Surging home with a withering sprint, Starfonte (Carry The Flag-Beliequalo), a quarter-brother to Starlactic bred by Lawson, scored by a length from favourite Lucky Mojo and Hidden Decision, in an all-Grafton trifecta, in the Coffs Coast Prestige Maiden (1100m).
The three-year-old is raced by the same connections as Starlactic – Lawson’s foreman Andrew ‘Woody’ Woods, his wife Desley, Errol and Pauline Woods, Lawson, his wife Paula and his parents, Max and Kay Lawson.
Starfonte started officially at $10.
“We all had something on him on the tote at around $15 which was nice for everyone,” Lawson, 40, admitted.
“I trialled Starfonte a while back and he went woeful. I just put him away and gave him time which he needed.
“He’s been working really well lately, improved heaps. I’ve had him in work for 12 weeks; he had the work under him.
“The lucky blinkers switched him on. Giving him time has made all the difference. He’s still got a way to go but the potential is there. He’ll have another run of two then I’ll put him out again.”
It turned out to be a ‘Bo Derek’ day for Lawson.
Two races later he saddled up four-year-old mare Dundigin to win the Gary Powell Building/Stephen Hackett Painting Class 1 Hcp (1716m).
The double provided Lawson with a career first after a decade training a small, boutique team.
“I very rarely have two runners on one day, to get a double ... a bit of luck finally our way,” Lawson said.
Aptly named Dundigin made it back-to-back wins after scoring at Grafton on March 20.
Dundigin is part-owned by Lawson’s cousin, Robert Ford, who bred the Canadian Silver mare.
“Rob bred a few from the mare (Digging For Gold) but none of them were any good so he decided to give her (the mare) one more chance, hence the name. She came up with a winner,” Lawson added.
Both gallopers were ridden by apprentice Anthony Allen, a local lad really starting to hit his straps.
Lightning does strike twice in the same place it seems for Coffs Harbour trainer Gordon Yorke and apprentice Nicholas Perrett.
The pair combined to win with Mooltan and Moneysaver at Grafton on March 20 and struck again yesterday, Mooltan winning the WHK Class 3 Hcp (1100m) and Moneysaver the Phil Lloyd Earthmoving/Studdy’s Servo Ulmarra Class 2 (1100m).
Yorke’s demeanour was more upbeat than a race earlier when enigmatic entire One Lickety Split again failed as favourite in the Bailey & Gough First National Real Estate Hcp (1416m) won by the Terry Commerford-trained Montana Hilton, ridden by apprentice Samantha Munro who scored earlier aboard Coupe De Cost for Coffs trainer Jim Jarvis.