Al Me Gal springs Shelton surprise on return to Grafton
RACING :John Shelton copped a nice surprise when Al Me Gal blasted her way to a win on her home track yesterday.
The three-year-old daughter of Alamosa had disappointting last time out running a weakening sixth over the 1560m at Lismore.
But at Grafton she was up to the 2230m in the B Freeman Hay Contractor Class 1 Maiden Handicap and produced a determined finish to beat Stephen Lee’s Patriot Missile with Snobby Shores (Jeremy Sylvester) third.
“Yeah she surprised me,” John Shelton said after his filly’s second race win.
“She was disappointing over the 1500m and went up to the 2200m today. I give all the credit to her owner, Kym Grant. I wouldn’t have run her over the 2200m but he thought she would.”
The win followed an unlucky third for Shelton’s debutant Special Beans at Ipswich.
He thought the filly would “lead on her ear” but she was last after jumping in the 800m scamper and spotted the field a couple of lengths at the turn before running on for third to Spiritomo.
Meanwhile, Taree trainer Ross Stitt also celebrated a good win with Pinnacle Power at Grafton.
The five-year-old gelding, a son of Dream Ahead, snared his second career win (31 starts) for Stitt.
Stitt said the gelding had indicated he was ready to win again with a battling third at Armidale at his most recent start.
Stitt has had a quiet time of late and welcomed a strong win.
Northern Rivers Racing Association premierships leaders Matt Dunn and Matthew McGuren didn’t take long to strike at Grafton as the pair combined again in the second race of the seven-race meeting with Unimpeded.
The four-year-old daughter of Unemcumbered surged home the widest of runners to claim the Warren Bultitude R/E Fillies and Mares Class 1 Handicap (1015m) from Tony Newing’s Divine Approach and Stephen Lee’s Miss Whittington.
Marc Quinn’s favourite, Sylvia’s Memory was unplaced.
Unimpeded drew wide (11) and had a big weight (59kg) but motored home for McGuren to give him his 40th winner of the NRRA season. It was the mare’s second win in 12 starts.
Matt Dunn said she still has a bit to learn but “did a good job here today.”
“She was pretty good, that will do her the world of good,” Dunn said after annexing his 38th win of the NRRA season.
Earlier in the day Lismore trainer Owen Glue caused an upset when Astrophysics beat the favourite, Praeferox.