SUNDAY: April 7, 2019: ONE OF Brooke Somers’ owners joked that she has covered “more ground than the Leyland Brothers” over the weekend.
But a winner makes it all worthwhile – and that’s exactly what the hard-working young Hawkesbury trainer achieved.
Somers set off for the Taree TAB meeting yesterday with one horse, and won the Maiden Plate (1400m) with $31 chance Prolongo.
She was just as pleased that she was able to give jockey Robert Agnew success with his only mount at the meeting.
“I’ve known Robert and his family for a long time since we were both working at Randwick, and it was great to see him win on our horse,” Somers said this evening, still on the road on the way home from today’s Gundagai Cup fixture.
She had two starters; recent Orange winner Tormund ($12) finished fifth in the Class 1/Maiden Plate (1800m) and $101 chance Military Red ran ninth in the Maiden Plate (1400m).
Prolongo, a three-year-old son of Artie Schiller, began his career with leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees and finished last of seven runners in an 800m 2YO trial at Newcastle last July.
“Former jockey Paul King, who rode my first winner and a number of my early winners, manages Orbis Bloodstock and felt a change of scenery might suit the horse,” Somers said.
“Prolongo has a few personality quirks, but likes the quiet environment at Hawkesbury.”
Somers gave the three-year-old two starts late last year at Canterbury and Wyong (both unplaced), and then a break.
“Even though he trialled well at Rosehill in November, he wasn’t all there mentally and couldn’t put it together in a race,” she explained.
“He has come back a different horse this time.”
Somers, a former Sydney Royal junior riding champion, accepted with Prolongo at both Taree and Gundagai, and correctly chose the former.
“The conditions suited him at Taree,” she said. “He appreciated the cut out of the ground, and Robert was able to set his own pace in front.
“I’m sure there is more improvement in him, and that win will be a real confidence booster.”
Somers, who began training early in the 2016-17 season, notched a breakthrough victory with I Am Capitan at Wyong in October, 2016.
The following month, she prepared her first city winner when $51 chance I am Magnificent (Josh Parr) scored at a midweek meeting at Warwick Farm.
Somers gave particular credit to Prolongo’s handler, Melissa Williams.
“Mel was the inaugural winner of the Sydney Strapper Of The Year Award in 2010 (when working with John O’Shea at Randwick),” she said.
“She adores Prolongo, and has done a really good job with him.”