Lifebuoy floats into third
IT’S onwards and upwards for Terry McCarthy after his stable star Lifebuoy ‘sprouted wings’ and ran into third place in the Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton yesterday.
The Ballina horseman was worried that his galloper wouldn’t have the fitness to compete on country racing’s biggest stage against a hot field, but Lifebuoy proved him wrong.
“We didn’t get any fast work into him in the lead up with all the wet weather which was a worry,” McCarthy said.
“But his run was enormous and against a top quality field which indicates that he is a pretty smart horse.”
You could make a case that the four-year-old should have won the race after being held up at the furlong, but McCarthy is more than pleased with the result.
“The winner (Pinwheel) is a very smart horse, so to run him to a length under the circumstances is a top effort,” he said. “I haven’t won a race like the Ramornie so the run was a great thrill.”
From barrier two, apprentice Michael Palmer quickly found the paint on Lifebuoy before being shuffled back into the second half of the field.
The horse settled nicely but when the whips got cracking Palmer struggled to find a run and had all his momentum stolen as he skipped across heels searching.
But the big horse eventually stuck his nose through and created a gap which allowed him to get within a half-head of second-placed Forestreno, and just over a length from Peter Snowden’s Group Three-performed blueblood, Pinwheel.
Closing the gap with every stride Lifebuoy needed only one more bound and he would’ve nailed Forestreno, though Snowden’s winner probably still had something up his sleeve.
McCarthy reported that the horse pulled up fine and will now be aimed at the Coffs Harbour Cup on August 5 with a lead-up run and a look at the Coffs circuit on July 5.