SORRY to burst your bubble but it’s time to spring a surprise.
That’s the message Nathan Hoy was delivering from the driver’s seat when Barkway Arnold ($26) held on to win the opening event at Bathurst Paceway ahead of highly fancied favourite Lets Pop The Bubbles ($1.20).
Barkway Arnold’s win was all the more impressive considering the eight-year-old gelding had to do plenty of work to make his way forward.
Lets Pop The Bubbles looked certain to breeze by him with a sprint lane move but Hoy’s gelding showed a surprising amount of fight to hold on for a 2.1 metre win.
Hoy said the Kadoopy gelding – the only of his progeny to race thus far – has been in great form.
“He’d been running some really good races without a lot of luck,” he said.
“My old fella stands Kadoopy … and he was a lovely horse himself.”
Lets Pop The Bubbles nearly got squeezed out of the opening contest but driver Amanda Turnbull urged her runner forward to find the gap.
It took over half a lap for the outside line to settle as If Hes Lucky and Trunky Digger traded places at the front.
Barkway Arnold had trailed up behind Trunky Digger and at one point went nearly four wide on a quest to find the front.
Hoy got his contender ahead of Lets Pop The Bubbles as the field entered the back straight for the final time.
Lets Pop The Bubbles still looked the likely winner after travelling directly behind Barkway Arnold, waiting patiently for the sprint lane.
When the lane arrived Lets Pop The Bubbles drew up alongside Hoy’s gelding but Barkway Arnold had a surprising amount of fight for a horse who had to do some mid-race work.
Barkway Arnold continued to fight on to claim just his fifth win in start 61.
The winning mile rate was 1:57.7.
Trunkey Digger ($21, Bernie Hewitt) fought on strongly for third.
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Wednesday night’s meeting featured the HRNSW Rewards Series Final and a Kevin and Kay Seymour Evolution Series Heat.
Steve Turnbull’s Big Heart showed plenty of ticker in the Rewards Series event to break through for a victory. The gelding came into the race with back-to-back runner-up results.
There were no surprises in the Kevin and Kay Seymour race as Our Uncle Jim ($1.25 favourite) blew the competition away, getting home by seven metres from his nearest rival.
Our Uncle Jim was the only favourite to win across the entire eight-race program – a rare occurrence at Bathurst.