Bagrie bags a double at Addington
By Josh Smith - Harness News Desk
Tom Bagrie went home from Addington a happy man on Sunday after bagging a double.
The Ohoka trainer tasted success on the first race on the card when Sheldon Murtha reined The Governor home to a three-quarter length victory, while stablemate Stealth Bomba broke maiden ranks when victorious in his 2600m contest for driver John Dunn.
“Especially after COVID-19 it was good to get back on the board with a couple of winners,” Bagrie said.
Bagrie took plenty of confidence out of The Governor’s last start runner-up performance and was expecting a good showing from the gelding on Sunday.
“His run last week was really good,” Bagrie said. “He is a really good doer and with COVID-19 we gave all the horses a bit of time off and all of ours were just needing the race fitness to get back in.
“We went into today (Sunday) thinking we had some good chances just because we do heart rates and we could see them progressing on after each race.
“Sheldon always does a good job. He has got a great strike-rate with him. He has had a couple of wins and a couple of placings with him in the amateur races, so it was good that it worked out well.”
While Bagrie was pleased with The Governor’s result, he was rapt his homebred Stealth Bomba got up for his first victory at the fifth time of asking.
“He’s always been a funny horse because he doesn’t like the grit as much as some others,” Bagrie said.
“He’s had some really good trials, but in his races he has had a few bad draws and a bit of bad luck where he has been back and things weren’t going his way.
“We were starting to get a bit worried that he wasn’t going to front on raceday, so it was a bit of a relief to see him put in a performance like that.
“We have put a bit of time into him. I bred him myself. He is four, turning five this year, so it is great to get something back finally.”
Bagrie now has eight wins to his credit this term and he is hoping his team can surpass last season’s tally of 14.
“The season has been a bit interrupted and things didn’t work out with a few of my other horses, so it was a bit of mixed bag this season,” Bagrie said.
“I would have hoped to have had a few more wins, but it is not over yet. Hopefully we can beat last year’s mark.”
Bagrie is currently working a team of a dozen, but there are two horses in particular he is looking forward to getting back to the track.
“I have got two that get me out of bed,” he said. “Pressed For Time is a nice mare, it couldn’t have gone more wrong for her this season, but everything is looking really good with her.
“Another one is Belmont Major. He is a nice horse who has done a good job from a small number of starts. I am hoping he can have a good four-year-old season.
“They are both back in work and have just started to do some strong work and we are happy with them at the moment.”
Meanwhile, Bagrie is excited about the prospects of Group One winner Bettor’s Heart this coming season, who is trained by his father Peter.
“Dad has got Bettor’s Heart who has just come back after a really good season,” he said. “She won in Australia and had some great racing here and we are hoping she will be competitive in a few big races.” – Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk