Alward digs deep to get the win in the Toowoomba Cup. Photo: Racing Queensland
European import Alward scored a brave victory in Saturday’s Toowoomba Cup (2000m).
The win gave trainer Chris Waller back-to-back Toowoomba Cups after Luke Dittman atoned for a luckless last-start run to win in the last stride.
Alward jumped well and settled fifth behind a good speed. He travelled well throughout and got onto the back of an improving runner at the 600m and peeled off its back on straightening before getting in a dog fight with the second place horse inside the last 100m and winning by a nose margin.
“I was in an awkward spot last start,” Dittman said. “Before that he probably should have won, when he was beaten by the stablemate which had a beautiful run, and today he’s made up for it.”
“The leader skipped away coming up the hill so I thought I had better get on my bike. Luckily he poked his bib out.”
Trainer Chris Waller was pleased with the run and is weighing up the options for his next start.
“It was a well deserved win today,” Waller said. “Obviously the good barrier is a big plus for him and the distance was perfect with everything in his favour which was justified with a nice win.
“There is a 2200m race on the 10th October or the Port Macquarie Cup worth A$200,000 the day before. It will be one of those two options and maybe we lean towards where he draws best.
“He has come through the race really well, he will have a nice quiet week and then step his work up again from Saturday.”
Waller’s Queensland stable representative Paul Shailer was equally pleased with the effort and said Saturday’s race panned out perfectly for Alward.
“From a soft gate he got a good run behind a good tempo,” Shailer said. “The field broke up before the turn and he had a lot of momentum.”
“It’s a great result for Go Racing, they are good supporters of ours.”
A son of Aqlaam, Alward was purchased from the Tattersalls Horses In Training Sale in 2016 for 35,000 Guineas and he landed in Australia all ready to go for only NZ$130,000. He has now won eight times in Australia for over A$740,000 (NZ$800,000) in stakes.
“We have had great success purchasing out of the Tattersalls Horses in Training Sale,” Go Racing’s Albert Bosma said. “As well as Alward we have brought over Raqeeq who was a 50,000 guineas purchase and has won NZ$400,000 to date and Sir Pippin at 24,000 guineas who has won NZ$320,000 to date.
“Last year’s buys have already seen city wins from Skyman and Mubariz so I am very proud of our record.
“We will be returning to the Tattersalls Horses In Training Sale this year and Alward’s win is the perfect advertisement of the success we have had from this auction.
“It was a great win for his owners who are having a lot of fun racing him.”
Closer to home Make Time picked up his second career win when racing away to land the Vodafone 1400 at Ellerslie on Saturday.
The Stephen McKee trained four-year-old jumped smartly under jockey Sam Spratt and led from start to finish to win by a comfortable 3 1/4L margin.
The victory was particularly satisfying for Go Racing who co-bred the son of Makfi. Make Time is out of Al Akbar mare Island Time, the dam of six foals to race for five winners including Listed Levin Stakes winner North and South.