AFTER Shanocon flashed home to snatch victory at the Bathurst Paceway on Wednesday night, the first words from winning driver Colin McDowell were: “It surprised me.”
However, he was by no means the only person shocked when the five-year-old was declared the winner of the Get Well Soon Belly Pace (1,730 metres).
A $9.80 chance who had not won since June 16, 2018, Shanocon’s winless drought looked certain to continue as he hit the home straight on Wednesday night.
At that stage he was last, spotting favourite Im All Courage some 20 metres. But the Kerry McDowell trained Shanocon found another gear and flew home to win by a head.
“It surprised me. I lost a bit and couldn’t keep up,” Colin McDowell said. “He’s not a bad horse, you’ve just got to find the right race for him.”
Going from barrier eight, Shanocon began roughly and dropped to the rear of the field. With a lap to travel he was some seven lengths off the pace.
Ahead of him it was the Peter Trevor-Jones trained $1.80 favourite Im All Courage leading the way.
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Down the back straight McDowell’s chance still struggled to make contact with the rest of the field and while finally pulling some ground back, was forced three wide.
But after Shanocon balanced he got motoring to nudge out the favourite on the post in a 1:55.0 winning mile rate.
Though that win was a shock for McDowell, saluting in the next race with Zanadu was less of a surprise.
While it was just the second start in the three-year-old filly’s career, good trial form and breeding (Bettors Delight x Glenferrie Shuffle) saw her start as the $1.70 favourite.
She showed gate speed to cross from barrier four in the Three Year Old Fillies Pace (1,730m) and while pressured by eventual runner-up Gold Rocks ($4), was good enough to post an all-the-way win.
Meanwhile, Steve Turnbull’s Coolie Kid picked up his fifth consecutive win on Australian soil.
The Mach Three x Terranora gelding moved from New Zealand to Turnbull’s Radiant Lodge team last November without a win to his credit.
Turnbull gave him three trials before lining up Coolie Kid for his Australian debut at Bathurst on November 28.
He won that race by almost 13 metres, beginning what has been a dominant streak.
His latest win came in the Get Well Soon Monica Pace (2,260m) with Mitch Turnbull in the gig.
He worked three wide early after going from barrier five, punched on to the death seat then was shuffled back into the one-one.
With 400m to go Turnbull got the $4.10 chance moving, again heading three wide. Coolie Kid kept coming and snatch the win in his final strides.
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