Under the lights and racing in front of a big crowd at Canterbury last Friday night, the Barry Molloy, Forbes-trained Lake Lugarno was a brilliant winner of the Benchmark 76 Handicap.
Running the fastest time of the night for the 1100 metres races, Lake Lugarno with Sydney apprentice James Innes jnr. in the saddle, led virtually from start to finish.
In front by a length from Can’t Find Snippy when heads turned for home, Lake Lugarno ($4.80) extended the lead down the straight and won by nearly three lengths from Difficult To Get (Tye Angland, $5) and Alert By Sea (Brock Ryan, $31).
The $3.30 favourite Blowing Kisses, from the high profile John Thompson stable at Randwick, finished amongst the unplaced division.
Raced by R.F. Mullavey, the Attunga stud and West Wyalong veterinary surgeon Geoff Boal, Lake Lugarno has an imposing record of nine wins and seven placings from 17 starts.
The five year-old bay mare has amassed $160,460 in prizemoney along the way.
Her only unplaced effort was in a class 2 over 1200 metres at Narromine in August, 2016.
Barry Molloy, a long time successful trainer, has a good team of assistants including trackwork rider Catherine Newcombe who has been closely involved with Lake Lugarno since the now five year old mare came to the Forbes stables as an unraced filly.
Before retiring from race riding, Catherine Newcombe was aboard for the first two wins by Lake Lugarno at Wellington and Cowra and since then the winning riders have been Cowra jockey Mathew Cahill (5 wins) and apprentices Chris Williams and James Innes jnr. with a win each.
Mr Molloy said Lake Lugarno would get a month between races and spread out her race starts because of the hot weather.
Giving the mare a break between starts has been a rewarding tactic for the mare who has been only sparingly raced since kicking off her career in 2015.
She has saluted on five occasions racing either first or second up from a spell. Suffering defeat on just one occasion second up.
Feature wins for Lake Lugarno include the Wellington Town Plate, the Cup Day Sprint at Orange and the Dulhunty at Dubbo when defeating the two best sprinters in the region, Danish Lace and Zarhron.
Barry Molloy said, “it’s a bit of an achievement that she won in Sydney – stepped up another mark.”
Last season Lake Lugarno won six races, the same amount as the champion mare Winx, and this led to the Forbes mare being labelled in the Sky Racing interview after the Canterbury win as “the Winx Of The West”.