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By Graham Potter | Sunday, July 30, 2023

It is one of racing’s truths that when you see a horse come out carrying the red and white silks of Windermere Stud (Steve Tregea) you know it will be well worth a second glance.

Tregea’s claim to fame in terms of his association with quality racehorses reaches far beyond his most high-profile handling of Incentivise, who, when trained by Tregea, plundered six wins in a row by a combined winning margin of 41.9 lengths before being on-sold to southern interests where he went on to win three successive Group 1’s (including the Caulfield Cup) before running second to Verry Elleegant in the Melbourne Cup.

The likes of Niccanova … a ten-time winner with over $1 million banked in prize-money … come to mind.

So, when the Speith gelding Highbar travelled all the way from Toowoomba to the Sunshine Coast on July 30, and came out with jockey Mark du Plessis sporting the Windemere silks, the chances were very good that owner Tregea and trainer Joshua King had not made the trip for the scenery.

It was a late two-year-old appearance for Highbar, who was making his debut just two days before the season’s end.

A 1000m from a number eleven draw meant there would be little room for error though and jockey Mark du Plessis was handed the reins, and with it the responsibility of guiding Highbar through his first race assignment.

Thoughts of any possible difficulties that the gelding’s inexperience might pose, or of any complications from the wide barrier, evaporated within the first 200m in which Highbar began like a seasoned racehorse before putting his raw speed to work to easily surge to the lead without too much fuss.

Once there, Du Plessis controlled every aspect of how the race would pan out, and it was effectively ‘race over’ long before Highbar past the winning post a full 4.80 lengths clear of his struggling rivals.

“Higbar is in one race. The rest are in another. A brilliant debut win,’ was the call from the commentary box, which just about said it all.

Talk about one for the notebopook! The appropriately named Highbar clearly fits the bill.

*Highbar was the first leg of a winning double on the day for Mark Du Plessis.

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Steve Tregea and Joshua King
Steve Tregea and Joshua King
Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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