Wagin trainer Angela Smith continued her strong Great Southern season when Danehill Storm was able to shake his bridesmaid status, proving far too strong for his rivals in the IGA Albany Handicap (1232m) at Albany’s Percy Spencer Racecourse last Thursday.
The five-year-old gelding had run second at his last four starts for Smith and this campaign had run five seconds in six outings before finally breaking the drought.
The well-supported $2.20 favourite sat on the speed for jockey Jerry Noske after jumping from barrier nine before booting clear in the straight to win by 2.1 lengths over Angelique’s Fame.
The victory adds to an already strong season for Smith, who has produced four winners and six seconds this season to sit equal fifth on the Great Southern trainer’s premiership, with four meetings remaining in the Albany season.
Smith has had an outstanding season with Trade Storm breaking his maiden status before scoring again in a class two race recently while veteran Corporate Larrikin notched his 15th win of a terrific career this season also.
Smith said Danehill Storm should have won more races after his most recent second placing.
“He has been very unlucky, he probably should have won three to four races this preparation,” she said.
The well-travelled Wagin trainer also had Rule for Gold (sixth), Morgan Le Faye (seventh), Family Connection (seventh), Reucoop (seventh) run in Albany.
Pingrup trainer Gordan Keay travelled to Albany with three horses with Pure Gem running fourth, Campaign finishing sixth and The Real Sepoy eighth.
Also on the eight-race card consistent mare Willow River notch win number four for Albany trainer Rebecca Wallrodt in impressive fashion.
The four-year-old won a class two race in January and was placed in her last two starts before racing away with a third win this preparation following a classy performance in the Wellington and Reeves Handicap (1100m).
Willow River is rising through the grades for Wallrodt, with three wins, a second and a third from seven runs this campaign.
“I was fairly confident she would go close as she’s been so consistent and working well leading up to the race,” she said.
“She’s improving with each run, she’s beginning to learn to settle better and hit the line strong.”