Ladies flock to Gawler races

Stunning fashions were on display at the Gawler and Barossa Jockey Club meeting on Thursday, November 9.

The meeting is held in conjunction with the VRC Oaks meeting at Flemington which is part of the Cup carnival and deemed ‘Ladies Day’.

At Gawler, the local ladies dressed for the day to also make it ‘Ladies Day’.

It was fitting that top jockey Clare Lindop was the top rider on the seven-race program with a winning double while star apprentice Emily Finnegan chipped in with a winner.

A $2500 investment less than two weeks ago returned a $10,000 return when Dornoch cruised home in the Barossa Volkswagen Four-Year- Old and Over Class One (1206m).

Having his first start for Gawler trainer Gary Searle, Dornoch, ridden by Jason Holder, scored a long neck win from favourite Adelad, with Willochra a length away third.

Searle said he, and fellow owners Gary Stewart from Holdfast Insurance Brokers, and John Martin had purchased the four-year-old as a potential stayer.

“We got him over from Victoria and because he was race fit decided to put him in today and have a look at him,” Searle said.

“He certainly didn’t work in brilliant fashion last week and the rider said he might be a horse which would like soft tracks.

“He really surprised me, but he did have blinkers on today which he didn’t wear in trackwork.”

Searle said the immediate win paying for himself was a bonus.

Racegoers might have witnessed the debut of a potential star when Éclair Starlight won the Rotary Club of Gawler Appreciation Fillies and Mares Maiden (1206m).

Trainer Phillip Stokes declared, “Oaks filly” as he waited for the three-year-old to return to scale.

Éclair Starlight, having her first start, charged home to score by one-and-a-half lengths from favourite Foie Gras, with Miss Bomber Belle three-quarters of a length away third.

“She cost me $500,000 as a yearling and was bought with staying races in mind,” Stokes said.

“She has shown promise and we have deliberately given her time.”

Ridden by apprentice Chris Caserta, Éclair Starlight settled back in the field of five before warming up over the final 200 metres hitting the line powerfully.

The trainer acted as a taxi driver post-race dropping the Victorian apprentice back at the airport to fly home.

“He flies in, flies out and does the job,” Stokes said.

The Gawler and Barossa Jockey Club’s next meeting will be the popular Bung Fritz Cup day on Wednesday, November 29.