Photo Credit: Bradley Photos
THURSDAY: September 22, 2022: THIS wasn’t Steve O’Halloran’s first Hawkesbury winner, but today’s victory with Superargo certainly meant a lot.
Now training at the track, O’Halloran clinched a breakthrough winner at home since setting up shop there last year when the well-supported $1.85 favorite snatched victory on the post in the XXXX Gold Provincial Maiden Handicap (1300m).
And he was pleased he had expatriate South African jockey Keagan Latham on side to help him get success.
Having looked certain to finish second, Superargo lunged at Noble Attack ($3.70) in the closing stages to shed his maiden status at his seventh start – and after five minor placings.
“I like using Keagan whenever I can,” O’Halloran said this evening. “He is a strong rider and did a good job to get Superargo home.
“He won on Miss Japan for me at Wyong in August, 2020 when I was training for Waratah Thoroughbreds.
“Keagan gave Superargo a perfect run today on the fence behind the two leaders, and didn’t risk being held up for a run on straightening.
“He switched Superargo around their heels to enable him to build momentum.
“I thought he had got there in time, and was happy to see his number go up after the judge looked at the photo finish print.”
O’Halloran’s previous Hawkesbury winner, also for Waratah, was Lost Impact in March last year when the Deep Impact mare had her last run for him before being switched to Victoria.
He was also delighted to get a win on the board for Superargo’s owners, thanks to a connection with Hannover Lodge in the Hawkesbury district.
“It was their recommendation to train Superargo, so it was nice to repay the faith they showed in me.
“Today’s race at 1300m was only his second run after a short break and was a little short of his best distance.
“I’m sure he will manage 1600m as he was placed twice at that trip in June.”
O’Halloran is gradually building his team at Hawkesbury with 19 horses in work, including seven pre-trainers.
Superargo’s stablemate Martini Crusader, another consistent performer, is second emergency for Sunday’s Bathurst Cup (1800m) at the Showcase meeting, and Robbie Dolan has been booked for the ride.
“There are a few dual acceptors, so if he makes the field we will have a crack at the race,” O’Halloran said.
. Grant Buckley pleaded guilty to a charge of careless riding on Builda Prophet in Superargo’s race, and was suspended – but only for one meeting.
RacingNSW stewards took into account Buckley’s exemplary record in determining he cannot ride next Wednesday, but will be free to resume the following day.