Gawler and Barossa host eight-race program

The Gawler and Barossa Jockey Club hosted a successful eight-race program on Wednesday after the meeting was transferred from Balaklava.

Hong Kong apprentice Alfred Chan was the star bringing up a longshot treble.

All the winners either led, or came along the fence.

The Gawler club has a month break with the next meeting on Wednesday, April 4.

Breeder-owner-trainer Ken Sweeney was happy to tell a story against himself following Pretiosa’s win in the Coopers Session Ale Class Two Handicap (1200m).

Pretiosa ($34 into $26) brought up a winning double for jockey Alfred Chan leading throughout to score by 1-3/4 lengths from Silent Ice ($1.90 fav) with Dellacqua ($13) a half-length away third.

“He his maiden at Strathalbyn in December 2016 and I sent him for a spell and forgot about him,” Sweeney said.

“My brother rang up last year and said what are you going to do with that nice chestnut.

“I said I had better put him back in work.”

Pretiosa didn’t have much luck when resuming at Strathalbyn but today Sweeney and Chan decided to go forward and the five-year- old was good enough to lead throughout.

Sweeney said despite the ease of the win he would still look for suitable provincial races.

Apprentice jockey Alfred Chan brought up his long-price treble when Graceful Wolf charged through to win the Gawler South Bakery Benchmark 56 Handicap (1500m).

After earlier wins on Itchyzariz ($14) and Pretiosa ($26), Cham trumped himself bringing home Graceful Wolf at $41.

As he did with the earlier winners, Chan stayed hard on the inside and the four-year- old came through to score a 1-1/4 length win from the pacemaker Kosmos Tercedes ($15) with Grand Armada ($3.30 fav), a half-length away third.

Graceful Wolf is trained by Trevor Montgomerie who has been campaigning with the gelding in Port Lincoln.

“I think he will eventually make the grade as a stayer,” Montgomerie said.

“I have given him time. I might just give him one more run before a spell, but I do think he will win over a trip in town later on.”

Improving mare Gracena continued her comeback with a strong win in the Holdfast Insurance Benchmark 60 Handicap (1500m).

Trainer Philip Stokes said the four-year- old mare had suffered a cracked pelvis as a younger horse and was progressing nicely.

Backed from $7.75 to start $1.40 favourite, Gracena, ridden by apprentice Kayla Crowther, scored a half- length win from Ballistic Missile ($21) with Ewan Mine ($10), a length away third.

Gracena was bred and is owned by David Brook, longtime friend and stable client of Stokes.

Gracena was a first up third at Gawler in October 2016 before injuring herself and not resuming until January 31 this year when she won a maiden at the same track.

“I’ll look for a suitable race in town for her now and I think she can run 1600 metres,” Stokes said.