Lucky day for Isdale at Cambridge

Lucky Bay powers to his maiden success at Cambridge Synthetic on Wednesday. Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

Lucky Bay was able to rectify a narrow defeat last start on the Cambridge Synthetic when putting away his rivals in the Cambridge Equine Hospital 1550 comfortably at Wednesday’s meeting.

The son of Sweynesse is prepared at the course by Clinton Isdale and hasn’t been far away from breaking maidens since debuting in January, going down by a nose a fortnight ago to Aladdin Sane over the same distance.

Lucky Bay entered Wednesday’s contest a $2.10 favourite and controlled terms from the outset under Opie Bosson, travelling strongly into the straight and never looked under much pressure as he pulled away by 1.5 lengths.

Isdale has held a good opinion of the three-year-old and was pleased to see him deliver on that promise.

“It was a good win. He’s just a big, raw horse who should’ve won a race by now, we did have bigger plans for him, but things just haven’t really gone his way being quite immature mentally,” Isdale said.

“He did a couple of things wrong today and still won quite nicely which was good.

“I’ll see how he pulls up now, but he might go to the paddock for a month, as he’s had a few runs this prep. I’d like to target the maiden at midnight race for him on the poly.”

Isdale was referring to the four MAAT races held on the Cambridge Synthetic on July 24, each worth $35,000 in stakes for maidens as at midnight of April 30.

Lucky Bay was bred by Novara Park and was passed in at the 2022 Ready To Run Sales, leading principal Luigi Muollo to retain ownership under his Explosive Breeding banner.

“I’d like to thank Luigi Muollo for not only his continued support as an owner of mine, but also a great friend. He’s been really good through tough times,” Isdale said.

Isdale will prepare a further two runners over the King’s Birthday long weekend, with last start winner Knight’s Realm lining up in the Rich Hill Stud 1200 at Pukekohe on Saturday.

The Castledale four-year-old was taken down by other runner at Hastings in January and was freshened but has come back strongly this campaign and bolted in to break maidens over 1400m at Trentham on May 18.

“He was very impressive at Wellington, he’s always had ability but just quite spooky, so it was pleasing to see him win like he did there,” Isdale said.

“He’s come through it really well and he seems to like the wet tracks, which we’ll get at Pukekohe.

“With the track being a Heavy 10, I thought it would be more like a 1400m race anyway so at least I know he’ll run the distance.”

Another strong performer at his last appearance, Pontardawe will make his debut over the bigger fences in the Silver Fern Farms Maiden Steeplechase (3500m) at Te Aroha on Monday, following a third placing over hurdles behind two subsequent winners in Auld Jock and Run Jakko Run at Hawera.

“I had originally entered him for a maiden steeplechase trial at Cambridge, which was abandoned due to numbers, so instead of running him in the hurdle trial, I thought he may as well go to Hawera and run for some money,” Isdale said.

“That was the only reason why he went over the hurdles, but he ran third and was a touch unlucky.

“He’s come through the run really well, the winner has come out and won by ten lengths at Woodville, and the second horse came out and won as well so I’m expecting a forward run from him on Monday.

“He’s a lot better over the bigger fences, John and Karen Parsons had him down in the South Island for a prep, and it was John’s idea to send him back up as he thought he’d be a good chaser and he jumps really well.”

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