Gilgandra Win Puts Shot On Top

Country galloper Shot Putt joined the Marc Van Gestel trained Drop of Magic as the horse with the most wins in New South Wales for the year when he saluted at Gilgandra yesterday.

Shot Putt won his eighth race of the season at Gilgandra yesterday, putting him equal first for number of wins in New South Wales. It also means that in the past 12 months the country battler has won the same number of races as Black Caviar and More Joyous.

While the $50,000 earned in the eight wins by Shot Putt pales in comparison to the $3 million taken home by Black Caviar, trainer Kevin White said he was extremely proud of his durable galloper.

“I wouldn’t put him up there with those horses,” White said.

“He is just a good, honest horse who gets the job done. I wish I had some employees that were as reliable as him.”

White said that he had planned to spell the horse before Drop of Magic had gone one win ahead for the year.

“We started to look at things about a month ago and I thought he was a chance. Then the other horse won another race, so we knew  we had to go to the races again. That was the reason we were at Gilgandra,” he said.

White, who actually trained Fine Cotton for a period of time, said training Shot Putt was one of the highlights of his career.

“I have had plenty of horses that haven’t won eight races, yet alone eight in one season,” he said.

“We are racing people and love racing and winning, especially in the country. We had a great day at Gilgandra, and they made us feel so special, I even had to give a speech. There have been so many messages from people about the win, which has given it a real sense of achievement.”

Shot Put needed 27 runs to achieve the eight wins, and will now be spelled.

Essington topped the nation for number of wins in the racing season with nine, although they came across two different states. Craiglea Tina could have joined Essington with nine wins if the mare had of saluted at Gilgandra yesterday, however she could only manage a well beaten fourth.

Darley trainer Peter Snowden trained the most winners in Australia this season with 224.5, while Dean Yendall was Australia’s most prolific jockey with 156.5 winners.