GETTING an extra gig back home was a problem Tamworth trainer/driver Anthony Varga was happy to have after winning the Uralla Bowling Club Kevin Ward Memorial on Sunday.
Varga scored with Mac Stubborn at the Armidale Carnival of Cups meeting.
A racing gig was on offer to the winner of the Final after heats were run the previous week, with Mac Stubborn finishing fourth on that occasion before improving enough to take out the feature final.
Mac Stubborn paid $17 for the win in the memorial race, named in honour of long-serving treasurer of the Armidale club Kevin Ward.
“The barrier was a bit of a worry,” said Varga of his starting position in gate four.
“We thought we would have had to do the hard yards as we did in the heat last week but once Brad (Elder) handed over the lead my horse fired-up.
“That’s just his go . . . he just keeps bowling along in front.”
Elder was driving his own pacer Booker Bay, who finished third in the heat the previous week.
“My horse did an amazing job; we probably should have won last week’s heat race but we went a bit silly early,” said Varga.
“Still, that is the way this horse loves to race.
“From the 400m mark onwards he was back to his old tricks and locked onto the outside rein again.
“I thought you have to kick again old fellow, because they’re coming.”
Varga had concerns with the $2.80 race favourite Our Aunty Ash from the Tom Ison stables, who was making a five-wide run around the final turn.
Our Aunty Ash was a heat winner from last week.
“I knew Ison’s wouldn’t be far away but my horse just had the momentum around the final corner, and he was doing it himself so I just let him slide up the straight,” said Varga
Mac Stubborn went on to score a 9.2m win over Booker Bay with Our Aunty Ash (Tom Ison) 1.3m away third in a 1.57.2 mile rate for the 1609m.
Mac Stubborn is a favourite stable member of the Varga stables, and even more so since the six-year-old Auckland Reactor-Kept In Line gelding has secured a brand new gig for his owners.
Varga races Mac Stubborn with life partner Denna and his father John Varga.
“He was a very cheap buy and I wish there were more of them,” he said.
“He is a beautiful horse to have around the stables.
“My young son Blaze and the horse are the best of mates.
“Mac is a real gentleman with Blaze, and it is great to see.
“I wasn’t expecting my fellow to find the top but once he did I thought if we kept running along the others had to catch him.
“That was our plan down the back straight and we held – and he had enough to get to the line.
“It was good just having a runner in the final and even better to actually be taking that new gig home.”
- JULIE MAUGHAN