OUT OF PETROL: Distance concern over Camillo
RACING: Grafton jockey Matt Paget has lamented the 1400m distance, after his mount Camillo finished a gallant runner-up at the Clarence River Jockey Club yesterday.
The lightly raced gelding, trained at Grafton by David Kelly, sat well behind race leader Latitude (Glen Colless) but, when it came time to make a move, there was nothing left in the tank.
Colless pushed on over the last 200m to claim a thrilling win in the Crown Hotel Motel Cl 2 Hcp (1410m), with Camillo finishing more than a length-and-a-half second.
After pulling up lame over the last 200m, Paget said he spoke with Kelly about the next move.
"I was happy with how she ran but I am not 100 per cent certain the 1400m is really her distance,” Paget said.
"We were sneaking up nicely on that front runner and I honestly thought we would beat it. I just thought we were going to wind up and go at the 200m mark, but my last 20m was the worst of the race.
"I think (Latitude) gets away on me as I am probably dying on my run. I had a chat with Dave about it after the race, but it is up to him with where he goes with the horse from here.”
While the four-year-old gelding has won over the 1400m journey at Grafton before, Paget suggested he would be better suited to the 1200m.
It was a stellar run from the visiting Colless, who sprung the lids on the Godbolt gelding before settling down two lengths ahead of the field.
After the race, Godbolt suggested the five-year-old mare could push on to the mile at its next start.
"I think she can get out to that distance, if she gets that softer going, she can get a lot further,” Godbolt told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
"That is half the reason I brought her to Grafton, to get the wider track and see what she could do with extra space in the middle section.”
Belinda Hodder was originally booked to ride the winning mare, before pulling out of the ride to instead partner with mum Julie Hodder on board Wacky Doo.
Later in the day at Grafton, local trainer Dwayne Schmidt was given reason to smile after exciting three-year-old Wasm broke through for his first win.
Experienced jockey Jason Taylor fended off a late charge from $1.70 favourite Beau Dancer (Ben Looker) to land the prize by a short nose in the Clocktower Hotel/Grafton Hotel CG&E Maiden Handicap (1106m).
It was also a fantastic day at home for experienced trainer John Shelton, who picked up a winning double after an impressive run from Belflyer in the Harwood Hotel Handicap (1005m).
Overcoming a late jockey alteration, young Cessnock apprentice Lexi McPherson piloted the six-year-old gelding around the entire field to swoop on an unsuspecting La Dolce Vita (Belinda Hodder).
It was the back-to-back wins for Shelton, after he also claimed an important win for exciting filly Invincible Tammy (Leah Kilner).
It was the horses' maiden victory and takes the overall record to eight runs for six minor placings or better. Kilner continued the stellar form she has shown since bursting on to the scene in December.