It adds up to a Guineas
By TONY WHITE
A gelding, specifically purchased with the Grafton Guineas in mind, zoomed into calculations for the $30,000 race during the July Carnival with a devastating win at Grafton yesterday.
Lightly raced three-year-old Zubatru swept to a 2-3/4 length win in the Grafton Truck Sales & Spares/Fleet Logistics Class 2 Hcp (1400m) at his second start for Coffs Harbour trainer, Brett Dodson.
Formerly owned by the Ingham empire and trained by Australia's biggest racehorse trainer John Hawkes, Zubatru was spotted by a close Melbourne-based friend of Dodson's, Lou Holt.
"We'll try and do an Undue with him," Dodson joked of the Hawkes cast Undue, who was sold to the Northern Territory and won the $650,000 Doomben 10,000 on May 27.
"Seriously though Zubatru's not in that class, but he's a horse the boys are going to have a lot of fun with.
"A good friend, who keeps an eye out for horses for me, found him and when I saw him and looked at his form I picked him out specifically for the Guineas."
Zubatru is raced by Dodson's Coffs Harbour-based clients Patricia Ahamnos, Martin Strudwick, first time owner John Hynes and Brian Andrews from Ipswich.
When Dodson first moved to Coffs he rented a house still owned by Hynes.
"Hopefully the rent might go down now," Dodson said.
Breaking a pattern of on pace horses winning, Zubatru was livened up with the whip by rider Jasen Watkins steaming home out wide to beat Thirtysixred and Skyroller.
Dodson said the gelding would either have another run or go straight into the Guineas (1600m) on July 12.
Local trainer Phil McLeod and Sydney-based Dave Sweeney celebrated their first win together since forming a new racing syndicate when promising His Excellency led throughout in the Coastal Trailer Sales/Camp Quality Maiden (1000m).
The syndicate is named HP and PJ Enterprises after Henry Patrick McLeod and Phillip James McLeod.
Jockey Stephen Traecey rode a winning treble aboard Lover In Space, Lord Nediym, both trained by John Shelton and Urased A Charm, prepared by Cathleen Rode at Grafton.
Jockey Jasen Watkins was suspended on a careless riding charge until Murwillumbah Cup day (June 25) arising from race three.
In the same event, Internal Decision, who was pulled up in the straight by jockey Bruce Compton, bled and is banned from racing for three months.
The Ken Lantry-trained Mr Tibula bled for the second time and is banned for life.