Brave northern win for Baquero

Baquero - Trish Dunell

Trish Dunell

Cambridge trainer Arna Donnelly took just one horse north to Alexandra Park on Friday night, but that was enough to secure victory at northern headquarters.

Shadow Play mare Baquero made it two wins from just three starts this campaign for Donnelly when she held out the fast-finishing Edamfast to win by a neck in the United Gaming Ltd Mobile Pace (2200m).

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the four-year-old after she paced away roughly from her outside barrier to settle at the tail of the eight horse field.

Driver Scott Phelan sat patiently behind his charge before setting her alight at the 600m mark to gain the lead in a flash off pacemaker Trojan Banner and was able to hold off her rivals down the straight to record her third career victory.

“It was quite a courageous effort because she did things wrong at the start, which she tends to do, she just wants to go a bit quick for herself,” Donnelly said.

“Scott said she pulled very hard in the running. She’s not an easy horse to drive and Scott drove her fantastically.

“She has got quite high speed and is a year older now and maybe a bit stronger too, so it was very encouraging.”

Despite Baquero’s recent form, her racing manners did leave a few concerns for Donnelly heading into Friday’s race.

“I thought it would be quite hard to beat Ray Green’s horses from the draws, and they probably have a few more manners off the gate,” she said. “As it turned out we got a good trip and things worked out nicely.”

Donnelly has been pleased with how her lightly raced mare has been performing, but said it’s now a case of improving her racing manners and hoping she doesn’t get up too high in the ratings.

“She got in quite bad last start, which probably cost her finishing a bit closer,” Donnelly said. “I am very happy with the way she is going, we have just got to work on her manners early and then we might have a bit more fun.

“We tend to race her every three to four weeks and we’ll probably look for something then, but hopefully she doesn’t get too handicapped out of it with the rating system.” – Cambridge Raceway


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