WARRNAMBOOL trainer Aaron Purcell has outlined big plans for Dashing after the lightly raced three-year-old scored an impressive maiden victory at Casterton on Sunday.
Dashing, a $75,000 purchase at the 2021 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, beat Cote Des Bar by four lengths to take out the 1200-metre contest.
"We'll head to Flemington with Dashing for his next start," Purcell said.
"There's a nice 1400-metre race for three year olds on September 18 for him.
"It's a good race at this stage of his campaign.
"From day one we've had a good opinion of him.
"He's always shown us a bit of ability, we've just given him a bit of time to mature.
"We gave Dashing three runs in May and June and then tipped him out. The three runs were full of merit.
"We came to Casterton quietly confident on the back of a couple of nice trials.
"I'm not sure what level he's going to get to but I'm confident he'll measure up as a nice horse and go through his grades.
"With a bit of time I reckon he'll run a good mile."
From his four starts, Dashing has earned more than $40,000 in prize-money for his connections.
Jockey Will Gordon isn't wasting time, booting home winners after five months on the sidelines following a fall in the Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase.
Gordon, who mixes riding over jumps and on the flat, has started off well, riding two winners from seven rides since his return to the saddle last week.
The English-born hoop suffered a fractured right shoulder, punctured lung, lacerated liver, concussion and broken ribs from the fall earlier in the year.
"I got pretty bashed around after the fall from Vanguard in the Grand Annual," Gordon said.
"I was pretty sick and sore for a while but that's all behind me.
"The worst injury I suffered was to my right shoulder.
"It took a bit of time to get the shoulder right.
"The shoulder is a complicated joint and needed a lot of physiotherapy before it came right again as part of my recovery I spent a lot of time in the gym working out.
"I'm very fit now."
Gordon said it was great to ride a winner at Mildura on Saturday and one at Geelong on Sunday.
"I was going pretty good riding winners on the flat and over the jumps before I had the fall in the Grand Annual," he said.
"I've had to go back to square one since the fall as owners and trainers forget you.
"I'm putting in the hard-yards riding a lot of trackwork at Mornington and now I've got to get my name back out there and the best way to do that is to ride winners."
Gordon rode Vanguard to victory in the 2022 Brierly Steeplechase before coming off the Symon Wilde-trained galloper in the Annual.
Financial members of the Warrnambool Racing Club have until Friday to put their hand up for a position on the committee.
Three sitting members - Mark McNamara, Laurisa Walther and Frank McCarthy - have indicated they will seek re-election.
The annual general meeting is on Friday, October 21.
Warrnambool Racing Club has appointed Brent O'Rourke as its manager of tracks and facilities.
O'Rourke, who is qualified in track management, worked at Macedon Lodge and Seven Creeks Estate before taking up the job as a leading hand at Warrnambool seven years ago.
"I am looking forward to the challenge and the exciting projects ahead for the club," he said.
"The inner grass project is going to be an exciting asset for the training facility and will provide a fantastic grounding for developing the track team and their turf knowledge.
"I am looking forward to developing and maintaining the racing and training facilities for the club."
WRC CEO Tom O'Connor said it was pleasing to have someone within the Warrnambool track team who had the ability to step up to the job.
Boom Warrnambool filly Bubble Palace has been nominated for the $175,000 listed Cap D'Antibes Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.
Trainer Daniel Bowman spelled the undefeated three-year-old after she won a $125,000 two-year-old race at this year's Warrnambool May Carnival.
Her debut victory came on the back of maiden win at Ballarat in April.
Bowman said Bubble Palace had trialled up well for Saturday's contest.
"I've been happy with how she's going," he said.
"We're just going to take it one run at a time with her.
"The Cap D'Antibes just looks an ideal race to kick off her campaign."
Jockey Teo Nugent pleaded guilty to a careless riding charge following his winning ride on Desiah at Geelong on Sunday.
The charge related to an incident near the 200-metre mark.
Stewards found Nugent allowed his mount to shift out and hampered Antequera.
The Warrnambool-raised Nugent was suspended for eight meetings.
His suspension starts at midnight on September 8 and expires midnight on September 16.
Stewards took into account Nugent's guilty plea before handing down his suspension.
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