Triple the fun for glad Vlad

Smart gelding Specard was the first horse into next month's Pakenham Cup field after locally based jockey Vlad Duric booted it to victory in Sunday's Pakenham Cup Prelude.

His effort on Specard was a highlight after the lightly raced four-year-old gelding pulled hard and refused to settle early.

“He fired up a bit early, but at the 700m mark he relaxed and came back under me.” Duric said. “When he got out in the straight, he just kept going and it was a really good tough win.”

Trainer Danny O’Brien’s assistant Gino Mata said that Specard was a talented horse that had needed some time to produce his best.

“We thought he would be very hard to beat,” he said.

“He was ridden a little bit upside-down at his last start and dropped away, but today he was ridden nicely in the field and produced a better performance.

“It’s a great reward for the patience shown by the owners. They’ve kept faith in the horse and us and that’s great.”

Mata was not sure if Specard would have another run before the cup on Sunday, 4 March, but said the galloper would be a serious contender for the $100,000 event.

“The options are endless for a horse like him, but we’ll wait and see. He’ll definitely start in the Pakenham Cup and of course we’ll be aiming to win it,” he smiled.

by Brad Kingsbury - Pakenham-Berwick Gazette