Soulima wins the maiden 'lottery'
IN a maiden race it must be a lottery trying to pick the winning horse.
Not so during the $30,000 Lismore Workers Club Sky Channel Gold Big Maiden Plate (1200m) at the Lismore Turf Club yesterday.
Classy Sunshine Coast gelding Soulima ($2.80) was backed in as the punters' clear favourite and he didn't disappoint, winning by 3¾ lengths from Bill Pholi's Bullrun and the Gold Coast-based Man O'Moet.
Soulima was ridden brilliantly by Glen Colless, who had to overcome a dreadfully wide barrier draw and took the four-year-old straight to the front.
He led by a close margin at the turn then powered home in the last 200m to leave the rest of the field trailing in his grass clippings.
Soulima previously had eight starts for five minor placings, but was recently switched from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast after owner Harry Reed retired from his day job and took up horse training full-time.
“Obviously we looked at this race some time ago when we were programming certain horses' starts and this guy came into play for us,” Reed said.
“I said 'Well, that's a nice race for him down there, the prizemoney is pretty good' and being a good on-pace runner he'd probably suit the track down here.
“We just, hopefully, had to draw a good barrier on the day, and that didn't happen, but the jockey did the rest.
“We knew that the horse begins well, so that was a plus, but there is a reasonably tight turn here and you have to be on the pace.”
The $19,500 winner's pay cheque from the Big Maiden yesterday should also help Soulima move on to bigger and better things.
“We'll just take our time with him, that's only his ninth start today, so even though he's a four-year-old he hasn't been overly raced.”