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Spelling paddock for Howley’s star

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By ‘Pegs’

KYNETON trainer Liam Howley will send star colt Virtuous Circle for a spell after the colt’s brave second placing to Berkley Square in the $500,000 Moonee Valley last Saturday.

The temptation was there for Howley to give his colt a ‘throw at the stumps’ in Saturday’s $2M VRC Derby.

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“He’s come through Saturday’s super effort at The Valley in great order,” Howley said.

“We’ll head to the paddock now for a well-earned break with our eyes firmly locked on the Autumn. We’re very proud of him and hungry for what’s to come,” he added.

For the second placing, Virtuous Circle earnt $90,000 for his connections.

The colt has won two races with two minor placings from his five starts, already earning $271,700 in prizemoney, chipping away at his purchase price of $360,000.

Cranbourne win

A weekend that could have been for Howley, as the previous day at Cranbourne, he was successful with the 20/1 pop Almighty Will.

The six-year-old gelded son of Medaglia D’Oro and Sabie found the turf more to his liking than his unplaced previous run on the Pakenham synthetic last month, when he took out the Freeway Ford #NextGenRanger 0-64 Handicap over 1400 metres.

The gelding, ridden by the trainer’s good mate Jason Maskiell, defeated the $3.30 favourite Writey O’Pal by a half-head with Trodaire ($18) a further 1-1/2 lengths away third.

Previously trained at Lindsay Park, Almighty Will was having his 30th start for Howley. Friday’s win was his sixth for Howley.

Jason Maskiell returns to the mounting yard on Almighty Will after winning the Freeway Ford #NextGenRanger 0 – 64 Handicap at Cranbourne Racecourse on October 21, 2022 in Cranbourne, Australia. (Photo by Ross Holburt/Racing Photos)

Moe winners

The application of blinkers did the trick for Seymour trainer David ‘Butch’ Bourne’s Wanjiru ($7) at Moe on Saturday.

The Complacent five-year-old gelding also found the drop in class to his liking in taking out the Ladbrokes Might & Power — Cox Plate Legend 0-58 Handicap over 1623 metres.

Ridden by Lachie King, the gelding got up by a short-half-head to defeat the $3.60 favourite Alphaville with One For Rocky ($15) a further two lengths away, third.

The former New Zealand gelding, raced by Network Bloodstock No. 1 and a number of stable clients, has now won two races with seven minor placings from his 15 starts.

Lachlan King returns to the mounting yard on Wanjiru (NZ) after winning the Ladbrokes Might & Power ? Cox Plate Legend 0 – 58 Hcp at Moe Racecourse on October 22, 2022 in Moe, Australia. (Photo by Ross Holburt/Racing Photos)

Dyer’s back

In the following race at Moe, Kyneton trainer Neil Dyer saddled-up his first winner since returning from his annual Darwin trip in August.

Dyer was successful with Svaneke ($17) in the Ladbrokes Makybe Diva – Cox Plate Legend 0-58 Hcp over 2082 metres.

Ridden by promising apprentice Celine Gaudray, the Magnus six-year-old mare defeated the $2.90 favourite Flame Of Venice by a short-half-head with Rippa Choice ($5.50) a further two lengths away third.

Part-owned by Dyer, the mare has now won three races with four minor placings from her 19 starts.

Farewell George

This writer was devastated to hear of the immediate retirement of leading Kyneton trainer George Osborne.

George, who has been training for 28 years across many parts of Australia, will saddle-up his last horses on Kyneton Cup Day – a day he owned for many years.

Osborne’s decision to retire was hastened due to the training facilities  badly damaged from recent flooding of the track and surrounds.

In wishing George a happy retirement, this writer hopes Osborne is not lost to the industry.

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