Bargain buy goes back-to-back at Invercargill

By Jonny Turner

Brookies Player again showed what a bargain purchase has been when he continued his brilliantly consistent form at Ascot Park on Saturday.

The four-year-old made it back-to-back victories in Invercargill when spearing along the inner to score for trainers Ross and Chris Wilson and driver Max Hill.

Almost two years ago, Brookies Player arrived at the Wilson stable as an unraced two-year-old who was unable to pace.

Chris Wilson purchased the horse for just $1100 from the online auction house gavelhouse.com and the pacer has returned more than 40 times that purchase price.

“The float ride down from the North Island cost more than the horse,” Wilson said.

“Big ups to gavelhouse – to be able to find a horse like him is great.”

“He has been a real find.”

Wilson syndicated the pacer among his family members with his wife Leah, brother Rob and his wife Hannah and his sister Monica McLeod and her husband Ben McLeod joining the trainer in racing Brookies Player.

The five-race winner hasn’t been a straightforward proposition for the Wilsons, but he is starting to learn what racing is all about and his recent results reflect that.

“He has just been getting better and better and now that he has got manners he is unstoppable at the moment, it’s great,” Wilson said.

Brookies Player was aided by a patient drive from Max Hill who secured a soft run for his charge along the markers.

Sly Tricks had more than enough time to learn his trade leading into his long-awaited maiden victory at Ascot Park on Saturday.

In his 85th start, after notching nine placings, the veteran finally broke through to win for trainer Paul Andrews.

Driver Rory McIlwrick gave the pacer a perfect run in the one-one and Sly Tricks capitalised.

“We have been trying for quite a while, but he is fighting fit now,” Andrews said.

“He used to pop up every now and again, he might get a third or something and then he would go out again.”

“But he has been putting it all together for a few starts, so he has been knocking on the door.”

“So, we were quite happy with how it went today.”

Andrews juggles training his team of horses alongside his full-time work at the Tiwai aluminium smelter.

His passion for horses means he makes the situation work.

“It is something I spent a lot of time doing, so you have to be passionate about what you’re trying to achieve.”

Saturday’s win is the fourth of Andrews’ training career, with two-time winner Tad Lincoln and The Power Broker also adding to his tally.

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