ANDREW Dale’s Shooting For Stars made a triumphant return to the stable, winning her first start back.
Dale’s Shooting For Stars justified her $3.70 favourite odds in race eight’s benchmark 66 handicap (1175m) at Albury on Sunday, running home to victory by a head.
The four-year-old mare ran the first three starts of her career for Dale where she won two of those races before crossing to Adelaide top trainers Will Clarken & Niki O’Shea.
But after 11 starts for a win and a placing in Adelaide, the daughter of Shooting to Win was sent back to Dale which brought immediate success for the Wangaratta-based trainer, winning her first start back.
“No doubt it was one of the more satisfying wins of my career,” Dale said.
“There were a few celebratory drinks with staff and connections on Sunday night and everyone was stoked with the result.
“It was very rewarding and it couldn’t have been scripted much better.”
Shooting For Stars found herself down in the weights at 55kg which led to a search for the hoop, eventually landing on Guymer.
“She arrived on Saturday so we took her to Albury on Tuesday to have a look around and a gallop with one of Donna Scott’s horses where Simon Miller rode her,” Dale said.
“Simon felt she was in really good condition but he couldn’t take the ride because he was already booked so we went to Blaike McDougall’s manager but he already had a commitment to Corsten’s horse Subliminal which came second.
“At 55kgs there’s not a huge pool of jockeys but Blaike’s manager also manages Shaun Guymer so they pointed us in his direction.
“Shaun’s a jockey that’s had a little bit of success with us, he has soft hands and is a real professional so it was a no brainer to get him on board.”
What a move it was for Dale with Guymer producing a textbook a ride from gate one, sitting on the fence behind the leaders before finding a gap on the fence and holding on in a tight finish.
“It was a really intelligent ride I thought,” Dale said.
“The instructions from the staff was that she doesn’t have a long sprint so we wanted him to hold her up for as long as possible and produce late because she has a short, sharp 150m sprint.
“They came around the turn and he probably could’ve came off the heels of the leaders but he stayed there for longer, found a gap and that probably allowed her to hold up for that little bit longer.
“If he came off their heels at the 600m I think she would’ve been vulnerable.”
The local stable has no future plans for Shooting For Stars but will find a suitable race in the coming weeks.
“We’ll just wait and see, we’re not in a rush to find something because she’s only been with us for a week or so,” Dale said.
“There’s a few races on Wangaratta Cup Day which might be suitable, or she could go down to Moonee Valley on one of their final night meetings where there are a few fillies and mares races around that 64 grade.
“So there’s a few races there but we’ll take her time and let her settle in.”

WORDS: Willson Mack (Wangaratta Chronicle)

PHOTO: Shooting For Stars wins at Albury. (Trackpix Photography)

Pin It on Pinterest