Class prevailed in Sunday night’s Warehouse Sales Wedderburn Pacing Cup when Sammy Maguire took out the $12,000 event at Maryborough.
Despite sitting parked at his first run since the Chariots Of Fire in July, the talented gelding lifted his earnings beyond $100,000 with the 15th win of his 26 start career. And he did it all off a 10 metre handicap at his first standing start attempt.
Winning reinsman, Gavin Lang, who co-trains Sammy Maguire with his father Graeme at Melton, said it was encouraging to see Sammy Maguire rise to the challenge given the high hopes the stable have for the son of Mach Three.
“We thought he might have been a bit vulnerable first up in his first standing start race,” Lang said.
“But we went there knowing that he would improve on whatever he did and while the effort probably started to take its toll at the finish, he was still good enough to get the job done.”
Sunday’s effort convinced Lang to take Sammy to Tasmania for a shot at the $125,000 Group 1 Tasmania Cup at Hobart on December 27.
“He’s had three (standing start) trials and that was his first race in a stand, but he hasn’t missed a beat in any of them,” he said.
“He can get a bit fractious before the start, but once the tapes go back he steps straight into stride.”
That’s precisely what Sammy Maguire did on Sunday. While not brilliant away, he stepped safely and was given time to find his feet by Lang before being taken to the spot outside leader Kalypson Kid just over a lap from home.
After a 31.8 second second quarter rounded out to a 63 second first half of the last mile, Kalypson Kid increased the tempo to 28 seconds for the third split which allowed the duo to turn for home well clear.
Sammy Maguire looked poised to pounce at the top of the straight, but the $13 chance dug in for the fight and it was only when Lang got vigorous in the final 50 metres that Sammy Maguire poked his head in front.
The $2.30 favourite’s winning margin was a half neck with Harry Walton ($13) 2.7 metres back in third spot. A 28.3 second final quarter secured a 2:0.2 mile rate.
Sammy Maguire’s win completed a good meeting for Lang, who combined with Don King to claim the $10,000 Richmond & Associates Wedderburn Trotters Cup.
The Sundon six-year-old made light work of his 10 metre handicap to toy with his rivals in the 2690 metre race and post his 12th win from just 22 starts.
“He just keeps getting better all the time,” Lang said.
“He’s got some consistent racing under his belt this preparation and has really gone to another level.”