Desleigh Forster wins Weetwood Handicap with star four year old

After running second in the Weetwood Handicap 12 months ago with Red Chase, trainer Desleigh Forster went one better this year, winning the Toowoomba feature with her star four-year-old, Apache Chase.

Ridden by Jim Byrne, Apache Chase once again proves his tenacity by sitting outside You Make Me Smile in a brutally run 1200m affair under the big weight of 57.5kg.

Jumping favourite after a late drift by Goldmarket Handicap winner, Desert Lord, Apache Chase was there to be run down in the straight, but the son of Better Than Ready showed plenty of fight to defeat Desert Lord and Royal Hale by 0.3 lengths x 0.8 lengths.

Having contested the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at his last start during the Brisbane Winter Carnival and fending off Ayrton and Amish Boy in the Fred Best Classic at the start prior, Forster has made it clear that Apache Chase will be in for another big campaign where a trip to Sydney beckons.

A winner of now six races and over $750,000 in prizemoney, Apache Chase will get his chance at the $7.5 million Golden Eagle on October 30 at Rosehill Gardens.

“He has a long campaign ahead of him, this horse so he’s not wound right up yet,” Forster told Sky Thoroughbred Central.”

“He will go to Eagle Farm in two weeks’ time to that 1400m race, then he will go to the Golden Eagle after that.”

“Racing here (Toowoomba), 1200m here is probably worth 1300m thanks to the hill so he gets better over ground.”

“I think he’s a better horse than he was in the winter, Jimmy (Byrne) and those guys are telling us that.”

It was a hit and run mission for the Eagle Farm trainer, with Forster sending Apache Chase to Toowoomba as her only runner on Saturday in an attempt to better last year’s narrow second in the same race.

“It was really big because we came here last year and got beat,” she said.

“He was really good today, he switched off and relaxed and you could see he just pulled Jimmy up the hill and he was nursing him.”

“They say horses come undone here with the hill, but good horses don’t; him and Desert Lord are good horses.”

Apache Chase is now a $21 chance in the Golden Eagle with online bookmakers.

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