by Michael Manley
Commentator Rick McIntosh summed it up best when he described Elvison’s victory in the $60,000 Moredun Hill Casterton Steeple (3800 metres) as “poetry in motion.”
It was "play it again" Elvison and his jockey Aaron Kuru as they employed their usual dashing front running tactic to make it a clean sweep of the three Casterton feature fencing races for 2022.
On track was Elvison’s trainer Symon Wilde and he admitted to getting “a real buzz” out of the win.
“It was a really good sight watching it. Elvison and his jockey Aaron Kuru looked to be in unison as they got around the circuit. Aaron also really enjoyed it, he said after the race,” Wilde said.
It was Elvison’s fourth straight win at the track having also won there in August 2020.
Elvison won by five lengths and he defeated a quartet of Steve Pateman trained jumpers with Laylite, five and a half lengths away second, Power Of Words third, Historic fourth and Mapping fifth.
Wilde said Elvison would have one more run left in him for the season which will either be the Crisp Steeplechase (4200 metres) at Sandown on August 7 or the Great Western Steeplechase (3600 metres) at Coleraine on August 14.
With only three meetings left, it was an important win for Symon Wilde in his bid to win his first AJRA training championship.
It was Wilde’s 12th winner for the jumps season and he has a two win lead over Ciaron Maher and David Eustace for the 2022 title.
Wilde conceded it would be hard to hold off the challenge of Maher and Eustace but hoped to add another one or two winners before the end of the jumps season.
“We target the early races with Warrnambool and after that our numbers peter out by the end of the season. The likes of Brittanicus, Vanguard and Count Zero are already out in the paddock.”
Jumps training stalwart Eric Musgrove recorded his eighth win for the year when Dr Dependable took out the Maiden Hurdle over 3480 metres.
The Andrea Leek trained Heir To The Throne looked certain to win but he didn’t jump the last well and he finished second.
Dr Dependable was ridden by Richie O’Donoghue and he continued his remarkable season with his seventh win and he’s second in the AJRA jumps jockey championship with seven wins.
The Irishman said he couldn’t believe that success he had been having in his first full season of riding and he would keep on striving for more.
“I couldn’t be happier. I went into the season hoping to get one, two or three winners after scoring my first last year on Mr One Eleven. I’ll continue to go out and enjoy myself. I’m absolutely stoked,” O’Donoghue said.
O’Donoghue said he was thrilled to be riding winners for his biggest supporter in Musgrove who had really encouraged him.
“Without Eric I wouldn’t be having this run at all. He’s given me so much advice and support,” he said.
Another newcomer to the jumps training ranks is Stawell trainer Andrew Bobbin and both he and Mighty Oasis won their second race for the year when he took out the Casterton Hurdle (3480 metres).
Jockey Willie McCarthy continued his successful season with his fifth win, and he took Mighty Oasis to the front at the outset.
Although Mighty Oasis scrambled through the last hurdle, McCarthy was able to coax him to victory.