First Double Of The Season
Getting the ball rolling early is always important when the new season begins and the runners so far have shown a good level of form. The Cookstown Cafu and Camacho Star took control in their respective races to gain wins in some tough conditions.
The Cookstown Cafu hails from a family which Kevin knows well and has also had plenty of success with. The progeny have all got better with racing and time which is something that The Cookstown Cafu seemed to following. Having become a little frustrating through last year, a small wind op allowed the gelding to finally reach his potential. Rounding off the season with a win and runner up finish, The Cookstown Cafu finally looked like he could be hitting the levels that he had threatened to do.
First runs of the year are always full of questions and with the ground conditions testing, fitness was going to be thoroughly tested. The Cookstown Cafu looked like the type who could improve again this season, so starting off a mark of 77 felt as though he had room to work with. Rowan Scott had partnered the 4yo on his final start last year and retained the ride in 2023.
Leaving the stalls, Rowan allowed The Cookstown Cafu to go on, using his stride to press the lead. With the sport ground, the field vied for the far side rail and from his draw The Cookstown Cafu could take the lead and the rail. Despite the ground, the gallop was fairly strong which would ensure a good test one the 7f trip.
The field got racing a long way from home and passing halfway plenty of the runners were under pressure. Rowan too had get lower in his saddle as he wound up his mount. This wasn’t the pressure but rather trying to get The Cookstown Cafu rolling underneath him, knowing full well he would see out the 7f strongly. The pair maintained their sit at the front of the field but a couple of their rivals were stalking them menacingly.
Despite coming off the bridle earlier, it was The Cookstown Cafu who was looking strongest as they moved into the final couple of furlongs. Suddenly the rivals who had travelled strongly, came under a drive also. Still holding firm in front, The Cookstown Cafu passed the 1f marker and hit top gear. Now he pulled away to gain a 1 1/2 length advantage as Rowan kept him up to his work. This move proved to be the winning point as the final 100 yards would see his rival close the gap. Striding out to the line, The Cookstown Cafu gained his second career win by 1/2 length.
It was great to see The Cookstown Cafu back in action with a win. He has always shown plenty of promise and it looks as though now he is beginning to reach it. He won well and will certainly come on for the run so this performance can be upgraded. The handicapper will be adjusting him and could well lumber a good few pounds to his current mark. Hopefully the gelding can continue his progression and may well have some bigger targets throughout the season.
As racing continued the rain carried on falling and it was really playing into mud lovers hands. Camacho Star had been knocking on the door of late and with his sire’s progeny usually enjoying easier going, it was an interesting prospect of gaining his first win. Although he had only tried the 1m trip once before, Tom Eaves was going to be positive from the off.
The 3yo had race fitness under his belt, as well as good form with a strong runner up finish. Having seen the runners head to the far side all day, Tom was clearly looking to do the same from the off. It would take a little longer with the stalls positioned on the stands side but the 8 runners would soon move over. Camacho Star was allowed to stride on and set the fractions in front.
Again, despite the tough conditions, the pace was fairly strong and now on the far side, the field moved through the first half of the race. It was early in the race but Camacho Star looked to be completely at home on the ground and was striding on. Tom was looking to be positive throughout and he began to turn the screw moving towards the 3f marker. Allowing his mount to move upon through the gears, the pair started to stretch the field. This began to find a few of their rivals out as the tempo increased.
Tom waited, just nudging his mount along as they moved into the final couple of furlongs. As his rivals were under the pump, Camacho Star continued to take Tom along and they started to open up a clear advantage. With a couple of lengths begin, Tom kicked on from the 1f marker. Camacho Star continued to find for him but the favourite was rallying in second. Keeping him up to his work, Tom ensured that Camacho Star was doing enough. The gelding was always holding his rival and just looked to be getting a little lonely in front. The margin was cut but was still a clear 3/4 length as they crossed the line.
Camacho Star deserved to gain a first career win and did it the hard way. He showed a very willing attitude to make all and repel his rivals. The ground proved to be no issue and it may be that easier going suits the 3yo. He got a little lonely out in front so this could be just the spring board to better things. Now he has got his head in front, hopefully Camacho Star can progress from here and add more wins to his tally.