Wertheimer back in winning form

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  • January 09, 2024
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A long drought was emphatically broken at Geelong on Saturday as Wertheimer overpowered his opposition and landed a $51 upset in the A$100,000 Canadian Club Handicap (2400m).

It was the fourth win of a 32-start career for the New Zealand-bred son of Tavistock, and his first since taking out a Benchmark 78 at Morphettville in November of 2021 – more than 750 days ago.

Wertheimer had run several highly creditable races in between times, finishing fourth in the Gr.3 Lord Reims Stakes (2600m), fourth in the Murtoa Cup (2050m), second in the Horsham Cup (2100m), fourth in the Gr.3 Bendigo Cup (2400m), third in the Werribee Cup (2000m), second in another shot at the Murtoa Cup, and fourth in another Horsham Cup.

Saturday was finally his day. Rider Billy Egan took advantage of an inside draw and took up a handy position just behind the leaders, then pounced in the straight and took command.

He burst clear by almost three lengths with 200m remaining, and the late-finishing Kailash and Christmas were only able to reduce that to a length and three-quarters at the finish line.

“It’s been a while between runs, but he’s run some really good races in decent company in the meantime,” trainer Matthew Enright said. “He’s run in two Bendigo Cups, where one of his runs was really good and he possibly could have been ridden better in the other one.

“I don’t know why I put blinkers on him at Caulfield last start. I’d seen before that he overdoes things when he wears blinkers. So I pulled them off today and it’s worked out well.

“I asked Billy what he thought from that inside draw, and he suggested riding handy and seeing if the horse can finish it off. That worked for me.

“He hasn’t been going badly and he deserves this. I’m rapt for the syndicate, Tommy (Heptinstall) and the boys. It’s fantastic for them. It’s a $100,000 race, a good stake, and it just fell into place today.”

Bred and part-owned by Tommy Heptinstall, Wertheimer has now earned A$217,335 in stakes.

He is by Tavistock out of the winning Lonhro mare Wild About Me, whose dam Like Me Wild was a Listed placegetter in Sydney.

Wertheimer’s younger half-sisters Wild Jakkal and Diva Kingdom have both been placegetters during the current season, while Wild About Me’s filly by Eminent was passed in as a yearling at Karaka last year. – NZ Racing Desk.

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