Twilight racing comes to Gawler

The next meeting of the Gawler & Barossa Jockey Club on Wednesday, February 28 will be a twilight meeting.

The first race won’t be conducted until mid-afternoon, with the final race in the early evening.

It will give patrons a chance to head along and see most of the races after they finish work.

At last Wednesday’s meeting there was an AFL football flavour.

Popular Adelaide Crows footballer Rory Atkins might have been at pre-season training on the Gold Coast, but hopefully he tuned in to hear his racehorse Voluto score in the Gawler South Bakery Benchmark 56 Handicap (1515m).

Voluto ($4.20 favourite), trained by Travis Doudle and ridden by Jamie Kah, scored a half head win from Willochra ($4.80) with House Of Wax ($5), three-quarters of a length away third.

Doudle, who is a friend of Atkins, suggested he join in the ownership of Voluto when the horse came on the market for just $3000 last year.

“He was trained by Steven Pateman but a friend of mine said he might be worth buying and I think he will prove a value investment,” Doudle said.

“We picked up $10,000 for today’s win and I believe there are more to come.

“I’m still learning about the horse and he will go for a break shortly. He loves rain-affected ground, so I will bring him back during the winter and I think he will be suited in races up to $1500 metres.

“It was an 11 out 10 ride by Jamie. She didn’t do anything I was thinking and managed to come away with a win. She is a star.”

A decision to walk the track on Tuesday night by trainer Darren Magro helped pave the way for a victory by Arctic Blaze in the Barossa Volkswagen Class One Handicap (1215m).

“I walked from winning post back up the home straight around to the 1200 metres and back and felt the best going was out towards the centre of the track,” Magro said.

“I told Clare (winning jockey Clare Lindop) to bring the mare out wide in the home straight and she was able to sprint to victory.”

Arctic Blaze ($17) drew clear to win by two-and-a-quarter lengths from A Little Chunky ($4) with Red Scimitar ($9), one-and-a-quarter lengths away third.

Magro explained he had been to Naracoorte and Port Lincoln seeking a first win with the four-year- old mare.

“I’ve always known she had ability but was prepared to travel to pick up her first win which we did at Port Lincoln.

“I thought we might have had to go back for another win, but today she stepped up in great style.

“I loved the way she ran through the line and Clare said she was confident the mare could get a bit further in distance.”

A six-year- old mare worked off a four-wheel motor bike scored a first-up win in the Goldin Farms Fillies & Mares Benchmark 64 Handicap (1215m).

Commanding Diva ($6), trained on Kangaroo Island by James Bates, upset the red hot $1.45 favourite Alaskan Jade, trained in Gawler by Darren Magro, to score by three-quarters of a length with Crystal Moment, also trained locally by Graham Fryer, one-and-three-quarter lengths away third.

“I have found out you need to keep her happy,” Bates said.

“Most of her work is on my property led off the bike, and once a week I take her to the track.

“She is a good traveller and doesn’t mind the trip across on the ferry.”

Ridden by Todd Pannell, Commanding Diva ran down Alaskan Jade just when the mare was looking the likely winner.