Faced with a red-hot field, Mudgee trainer Derek Piper knew winning the $35,000 Wild Oats Mudgee Cup Day Sprint Showcase over 1200 metres was going to be tough.
It proved to be just that, but his super impressive mare Our Dasha showed the bumper crowd at the Mudgee Race Club she’s one of the fastest horses in the west.
Piper’s mare provided the speed from the outset and fended off challenges from genuine stars of regional sprint racing, kicking on from an early challenge from Brett Thompson’s Sugar Dance ($6) before beating Cameron Crockett’s Nictock ($3.80), a gelding that won the Central District Racing Association’s horse of the year title on Friday, to the finishing post by half-a-length.
Winning at odds of $4.60, Our Dasha has enjoyed a stellar run since June, winning three straight races at Wellington, Warren and then Canterbury before capping this preparation with Friday’s sprint victory at the Mudgee Race Club.
The four-year-old bay mare will now enjoy a spell and after winning her sixth race.
Our Dasha will be angled at next year’s Scone Cup carnival now that she’s ineligible for next February’s rich Country Championship qualifier, which is restricted to class five horses.
She was just a racehorse in really good form, she’s rock-hard fit and she’s just been going like that all prep.Our Dasha trainer Derek Piper.
Still, Piper and Our Dasha’s connections are elated after arguably the biggest win of the mare’s 16-start career.
“I don’t know if there was a trick to it, she was just a racehorse in really good form, she’s rock-hard fit and she’s just been going like that all prep,” Piper said.
“I was a bit surprised when Greg (Ryan) led on it, and I thought half-way down the straight she might have been a bit vulnerable looking for a few swoopers coming late but she dug in and kept going.
“Her best races she’s always run just in behind the pace, there’s only been once we’ve led with her and she got caught in the shadows of the post.
“But she’s pretty versatile. You can pretty well ride her anyway you like now.”
Choice Larga, for Central Coast trainer Damien Lane, completed the placings in third.