Gelding gets a change of fortune at Bunbury
Injury-prone gelding Al Di La turned his fortunes around by claiming victory in the $15,000 Owners Only Maiden (2038m) at the Bunbury Turf Club yesterday.
Trainer Phillip McLeod believes he is lucky to still have a horse after Al Di La ($3.70) almost bled out while being gelded and just two weeks ago his campaign was almost ruined when he went through a fence.
“It is unfortunate that these things happen,” he said.
Despite the setbacks McLeod believes Al Di La has a promising future and was always confident of a good showing at the South West track.
“He was the only horse who had gone the journey,” he said.
“I put the blinkers on to try to get him focused.
“He still was not as focused as I would have liked.
“I am just trying to see if he will get the trip.”
McLeod said he wanted to see if Al Di La would step up to the 2400m, with April’s $400,000 WATC Derby (2400m) in their sights.
“He has got the 2000m, I just have to try to get him to the 2400m,” he said.
“I will give him a let up now and get him ready for the Derby.”
The three-year-old broke maiden status after Patrick Carbery rode him to the front of the pack at the 800m mark of the race, where they held position for the rest of the run.
In the end it was a dominant win, with Carbery and Al Di La finishing more than two lengths ahead of race favourite Technical Limit and five-and-a-half lengths in front of third-placed Percy Kiwa.
McLeod said he asked Carbery to turn it into a staying race and he was pleased with the results.
“If you cannot win these sort of races then you do not have much future,” he said.
“You have to win them well and then get on with it.”
Unfortunately for McLeod, promising gelding Prince O’Lara was a late scratching from race four yesterday after he injured himself in the float earlier in the day.
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