All Conquering (Saturday 14th April 2018)

 

Bruce Stewart

 

 

Mighty Conqueror continued on his winning way when he won his second start at Winton today with the win impressing his regular pilot Shane Walkinshaw. 

 

"He's got a bit going for him. He can roll along all day and he's got a bit of speed as well," he said.

 

In the Winton Mitre 10 Nuggets Final the three year old was taken to the top by Walkinshaw.  

 

"I've never asked him to go off the gate so it was a new thing for me and him but he did get off it real easy." 

 

From that point horse and driver dictated all the terms, and the American Ideal gelding which is owned by his co-trainer Mark Shirley and good friend Malcolm Dewe won impressively by a length and three quarters from a brave Betterthanbrie. 

 

"He was travelling good all the way and did it all under his own steam."

 

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Mighty Conqueror and Shane Walkinshaw winning at Winton - Photo Bruce Stewart.

 

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Two starts two wins - Photo Bruce Stewart.

  

The win impressed his driver who's reined a few good three year olds in his fourteen seasons of driving. 

 

"He's definitely up there. He's got the ability but he just needs to get the ringcraft. He just goes out there and  mucks around a bit. He's one of those racehorses that will relax for you and when you ask him to run he'll run."

 

Walkinshaw doesn't work in the harness racing industry anymore, now working for On Gas during the week and driving at the races at the weekend. 

 

"I'm loving the change with the work during the week and the horses at the weekend. It's great to be back and driving a nice horse like that."

 

The win certainly highlights the success of the Nuggets Series and the bearing it now has on the Southern Supremacy Stakes Leaderboard.

 

Eight of the nine Nuggets Finals including the Super Nuggets Final at the Northern Southland meeting have been won by three year olds; The Bus, Franco Santino, Nota Bene Denario, Ardtoo, Henry Hubert, Convair Hustler, Kilowatt Kid and now Mighty Conqueror. The $12,000 stake money offered in this races has certainly helped these horses up the leaderboard of the Supremacy, and two wins from only two starts in normal races doesn't guarantee you a start in the Group Two feature anymore. Nuggets appears to be the new pathway to the Supremacy. They have been like heats for the three year old colts and geldings. 

 

Trainers Mark Shirley and his wife Debbie still have to decided whether Mighty Conqueror will line up in the Supremacy.

 

See 2017-2018 Nugget winners CLICK HERE

 

The Winton Business's Cup was won today by the Ken and Tony Barron trained Royal Bengal.

 

The four year was originally trained in Southland by Robin Swain before heading to Canterbury. Owned by Baynes Racing Limited which is Kenny Baynes and his sister in-law Penny, he carries the colours made famous by Kenny's father the late Colin Baynes. The same colours were worn when Kamahl driven by Colin Baynes won this race in 1983.

 

The winning margin today was a length and a quarter with Star Commander running second.

 

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Royal Bengal adding the Winton Cup to the Gore Cup he's also won this season - Photo Bruce Stewart.

 

 

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Back to the birdcage - Photo Bruce Stewart.

 

 

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Winning connections and friends - Photo Bruce Stewart. 

 

The race was marred by the second favourite Aloka breaking at the 450 metre mark. He was pulled out of the race by driver Blair Orange and found to have fractured his left hind cannon bone. Unfortunately for all his connections he had to be euthanaised. 

 

 

 

See previous Winton Cup winners CLICK HERE 

 

 

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