First Bid, the recent Gympie winner, pictured with Hannah English aboard at Nanango last May (Photo: Ross Stanley)

Gunsynd's GossipMarch 16, 2020

Trainer Janene Armstrong and her fellow part owner Barry Goodwill chalked up their second victory with First Bid when the chestnut saluted Benchmark 50 Handicap (850m) at Gympie on March 7.

The $3.30 chance was handled by Robert Faehr.

The Siderus gelding also posted a win on the sand in a Bundaberg BM 55 (850m) during July last year.

The sprinter has produced a bank deposit a dozen times from 13 outings since joining up at Ballogie, near the Chinchilla-Wondai Road, with Armstrong, the former North Western Queensland greyhound identity who had earlier experiences with thoroughbreds at Mount Isa.

First Bid’s record with Armstrong stands at 13: 2-3-1-6.

The six-year-old has always been around the money.

Glenn Richardson, the Nanango trainer who previously saddled up First Bid for two wins, three seconds,a third and a fourth placing, landed a double at the Gympie meeting.

Golfers would have shied away from Eight Over because players do not win tournaments with scores like that!

However the Lonhro gelding is cleverly named: his grand-sire is Octagonal and his dam, Big Birdie, is a daughter of Exceed And Excel and the Volksraad (GB) mare One Under.

Emma Macpherson’s four kilogram claim reduced Eight Over’s impost to a challenging 63 kilograms in the BM 65 (1030m).

The bay had earlier spent time with four different trainers, namely Chris Waller, Ben Currie, Brett Cavanough and Lindsay Hatch.

For Richardson, the six-year-old has raced nine times and has secured three successes, two seconds, a third and two fourths.

The stable’s other cheque for a Gympie first placing came in the Maiden Plate (1170m), courtesy of Ms Orbital Spirit (Stephanie Lacy).

The victory was especially rewarding because the Spirit of Boom mare has spent long periods on the sidelines.

The now four-year-old had two outings at Dalby (for a close second at $31) and Beaudesert in December 2018.

She reappeared at the Sunshine Coast and Gatton in March last year and resumed eleven months later with a tidy sixth at Toowoomba on 22 February.

Ms Orbital Spirit, with maternal genetic endowments from More Than Ready and Kaapstad, posted a margin of more than five lengths when she shed her Maiden tag at her sixth run last weekend.

Eight Over (Gary Geran) comfortably continued on its winning way in the Open Handicap (1030 m) at Bundaberg last Saturday.

The 2/1 shot easily handled the rise in class to register three successive victories.

* * *

The talented Kiwi sprinter The Bostonian (Michael Cahill) captured during his successful 2019 Brisbane winter campaign (Photo: Ross Stanley)

Form Guide Pointers

Punters should not substitute their own careful form analysis in favour of taking note of the plethora of talking heads and scribes that often overlook the telling points.

The Bostonian, winner of the 2020 $500,000 ATC Canterbury Stakes (1300m), was worth a wager for a couple of key reasons.

Going into the Group One contest, the son of Jimmy Choux (NZ) had not raced since early November. His previous six first-up tasks had yielded five wins.

Apart from a disappointing sortie in Melbourne last spring, Tony Pike’s charge has thrived on Australia’s turf.

In 2018, after seven months off, the then three-year-old picked up the Daybreak Lover Stakes at the Sunshine Coast, beat his own age group at Doomben and made it three from three with a triumph in the Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m).

He crossed the Tasman again last winter.

After a three month absence, the $41 pop scooped up the Doomben 10,000 for Michael Cahill, before winning the Kingsford Smith Cup at Eagle Farm. He did fail in the Stradbroke.

Also on Randwick card on March 7 was the $500,000 Challenge Stakes while Flemington hosted its $1m Newmarket Handicap.

The cream of the elite sprinters was effectively spread across three scones.

Sydney’s Group One on a Soft 5 was money for jam for The Bostonian.

The horse has an excellent history on wet tracks.

The Canterbury Stakes runner-up Savatiano, with a poor Group One record on her resume, went to the gates as a $2.35 favourite.

The Bostonian started at $7.50.

The message is that horses can be creatures of habit, and their racing patterns are well worth exploring.

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