Hi Sugar – how sweet you are!
It’s fair to say that’s the expression Rockhampton trainer Darryl Johnston would be using about his race mare of that name after she won two races in the space of four days earlier this week.
After winning a BM 0-55 Handicap (1000m) at Emerald last Saturday, Hi Sugar (ch m 4 Ferocity-Prancy Nancy x Lion Cavern) headed north to Mackay on Tuesday and won in identical class over 1300 metres.
It was an outstanding training effort by Johnston on a number of fronts.
Firstly, his placement of the mare taking full advantage of two BM 0-55 grade races rarely programmed so closely with such a short back-up time was astute in every meaning of the word.
Secondly, his ability to have the mare fully recovered and fit after a seven hours float trip from Rockhampton to Emerald and back over 644klm last Saturday to be ready to win at Mackay on Tuesday was quite remarkable.
After all, Hi Sugar had to travel another 386klm to Mackay and withstand another long float trip to bring off her rarely achieved double.
Then there was the variance in distances from 1000 metres to 1300 metres in such short time.
The feat not only speaks volumes for Johnston’s training prowess but heaps for the tenacity of his mare.
Then there is the prize money to consider achieved through Johnston’s clever placement of Hi Sugar who had previously only been successful twice from 18 starts.
Her Emerald win earned $9800 courtesy of lucrative QTIS Bonuses while another $9100 galloped in courtesy of the Mackay victory taking her tally to $51,700.
That’s $18,900 – not bad – not bad at all!
Johnston who trains five horses on-course at Callaghan Park, described Hi Sugar as a big gross mare who “eats her head off”.
“She has always shown ability since we got her from the Capricornia Yearling Sales. Recently, I had been a little disappointed in a couple of her runs so I got a blood test taken. The results indicated she needed to be worked harder in training to improve her fitness level. I went down that track and I’ve been lucky as it seems to have worked”, Johnston said modestly.
Take a bow Darryl as what you achieved takes more than luck!
He said the increase in track work had not dimmed Hi Sugar’s appetite so he decided to go down the “back-up track”.
‘’I had her set for the QTIS race at Emerald for some weeks but after she handled that run so well and ate her head off after the run and trip out there, I decided to go to Mackay”, he explained.
Hi Sugar is raced by Mackay canefarmers Murray and Dianne Reck hence the mare’s sweet name.
The couple have been loyal supporters of Johnston and the Capricornia Yearling Sales and they also raced the smart sprinting mare Isa Tala.
The Reck’s paid $13,000 for Hi Sugar who was offered by Oaklands Stud at the 2015 edition of the CYS.
Oaklands will offer a ‘’half’’ CORRECT to Hi Sugar as part of its large draft at this year’s CYS on Sunday, April 8.
Through her dam Prancy Nancy (Lion Cavern-Just Pretty x Danzig), Hi Sugar boats an international pedigree with relatives achieving high success in America and France.
Her sire Ferocity no longer resides at Oaklands, Darling Downs but calls China home.
Rockhampton based jockeys Lachlan Dodds and Quayde Krogh who ride at Townsville races today THURSDAY will represent Queensland at an Apprentice Jockey’s Invitation Race Series at Launceston, Tasmania on Sunday.