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By Graham Potter | Monday, July 25, 2022

With the Gold Coast meeting being abandoned on Saturday July 23, Jasmine Cornish took the trip up to Toowoomba for two rides … one of which turned into a winner in the form of the $10 chance Courtingrock in a Fillies and Mares Maiden Handicap over 1200m.

It had taken the Bob Chessher trained mare nineteen runs to earn her place in the winner’s enclosure, but she had given a hint of an impending win with her second place, third place and two fourth place finishes in the last four runs prior to this engagement.

Courtingrock was caught four wide in the early part and will still held three wide, in sixth place, but only a little over two-and-a-half lengths off the very keenly contested lead after the field had travelled 200m.

With nowhere to get in Cornish and Courtingrock went back to six lengths off the lead at the start of the sweep to the home turn but, with 500m left to run, Cornish made her move, urging Courtingrock to improve and the daughter of The Fatman responded well, grinding her way into a challenging position, now just a little over two lengths off the frontrunning Wicked ‘N’ Lovin’ It ($10) as the field turned for home.

At that stage six or seven runners were still in contention, but Courtingrock then took the race by the scruff of the neck and shook off all opposition, racing away to a clearcut 1.80 victory.

Courtingrock thus improved his race record to one win and six minor placings from nineteen starts.

The Gold Coast meeting, which was abandoned on July 23, was transferred to the Sunshine Coast Poly Track on July 25 and it gave Jasmine Cornish the opportunity to snare another winner in the form of the Kelvin Hickmott trained Coronel in a 0-58 Handicap over 1400m.

Cornish had been on Coronel in twelve of the gelding’s last thirteen starts and had won on him before … so she knows the gelding well … but, perhaps the biggest pointer to Coronal’s latest victory had come two starts back when the son of Host had surged late only to be denied by 0.20 lengths … importantly … on the Poly Track over the same distance as he encountered here.

As with any particular surface, some horses like it and some don’t … and that second placing of Coronel suggested he was good to go with the Poly Track, and that’s exactly the way it worked out, although the victory couldn’t have been harder earned.

For starters, Coronel (the $2.20 favourite) went back to a lonely last in the early part, loping along some four lengths off the leader with his six rivals strung out across the track in front of him.

Coronel went past one horse at the 600m mark, cutting through along the inside … and then swept past another rival coming through the 500m, at which stage Cornish also wisely started angle Coronel out away from the inside, to the degree that Coronel was all of four wide on straightening, but now in clear running.

There was still four lengths to make up though and still four opponents to get past, and it would literally take Coronel the whole length of the straight to achieve that.

By the 200m mark, Coronel only had two horses left in front of him, but he was still a little under three lengths adrift of the lead. With 100m to go Coronel was still only third best, but now only just over a length back … and he just kept coming … and, with 50m left to run, Coronel finally reached the lead.

Even then, there was no respite as Daulat Machtigamor ($8.50) wouldn’t go away and, when Coronel finally confirmed the victory, it came by the narrowest of margins.

A winner any time is a good thing ... but, taken in the context of Cornish's chase for the Queensland Provincial Apprentice Jockey's Premiership ... these were two very importnat wins.

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Courtingrock (above) and Coronal (below) ... both pictured at a previous starts
Courtingrock (above) and Coronal (below) ... both pictured at a previous starts
Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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