Veteran trainer Murray Johnson has enjoyed a fairytale return to Australian racing with his first runner Correggio victorious in the Happy 60th Birthday Tom Bishop (1309m) at Seymour yesterday.
Johnson spent the better part of three decades operating as a trainer in the United States but returned home to work with brother Tim at Ealing Park in Eurora before setting up his own stable of five horses in Seymour.
Correggio started the race, his first since being gelded, as a $12 chance but swept to the lead as the field came around the final turn and stormed away to record an impressive two and a half lengths victory.
Johnson was overwhelmed with emotion at the conclusion of the race and, although he has previously won much more prestigious races in both Australia and the United States, it was clear that the victory meant a great deal to him.
“It’s what we do it for,” Johnson told Racing Victoria.
“He’s a quality horse, he wasn’t one hundred per cent fit but I told his owners before the race that if he was one hundred per cent fit then he’d beat them easily.
“He’s a good horse and good horses make us look good.”
Correggio was previously under the care of leading Victorian trainer Peter Moody and had been hampered by injuries since finishing fifth behind Solemn in the 2012 Listed Geelong Classic (2200m).
The Excellent Art gelding was originally partly owned by Coolmore but they sold their share after the three-year-old was gelded and an old school friend of the trainer Michael Ramsden put together a new group of owners and transferred the galloper to Johnson.
“I went to school with one of his owners Michael Ramsden and his father originally owned the horse in partnership with Coolmore when it was trained by Peter Moody,” Johnson said.
“The horse has had a few problems and the original owners wanted to sell him so Michael put together a group of owners who were good enough to put him in my stable.
“With a horse like him you’ve just got to hope he can stay in work for long enough so that he can get out to a distance where he can show his best.”
You can find the full results of the Happy 60th Birthday Tom Bishop in the table below.
It doesn’t matter whether a horse is running at Flemington during the Spring Racing Carnival or at Seymour on a Tuesday you can find the best odds at bookmaker.com.au – home of the famous $500 bonus bet!
2013 Happy 60th Birthday Tom Bishop Results & Finishing Order
Seymour Race 8 – 23/07/2013
|1||1||CORREGGIO (NZ)||Murray Johnson||Cory Parish||–||8||60kg||$12|
|2||3||LASHED OUT (NZ)||John & Chris Ledger||Damian Lane||2.25L||2||59.5kg||$4.40F|
|3||2||RESETALENKO||Leon Corstens||Jamie Mott||2.35L||1||60kg||$6|
|4||5||ALL FIVES||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Chris Symons||4.85L||10||59kg||$4.80|
|5||8||CROWNS (NZ)||Dave Enright||James Winks||10.85L||11||58kg||$21|
|6||13e||MARCH PAST||Paul Maher||Dean Yendall||11.6L||3||57.5kg||$26|
|7||12e||PRIE DIEU||John Symons & Sheila Laxon||Ms Linda Meech||12.1L||6||56kg||$17|
|8||11||ISOLATION||Peter Snowden||Craig Newitt||12.6L||5||55.5kg||$5.50|
|8||6||AQUAE SULIS||Daryl Brown||Dean Holland||12.6L||7||59kg||$10|
|10||10||MARLGEO||Bridget Flynn||Daniel Stackhouse||17.35L||4||57kg||$17|
|11||7||STREIFF||Penny Reeve||Chad Schofield (a0)||27.35L||9||59kg||$11|