For Rajasthan, these days trained at Allendale East by David Peckham, Tara Raceway is a far cry from those heady days of 2019 when the son of Kinloch Brae and Telling You won the 715 metres Group 1 Sandown Cup for owners Tim Aloisi, Damien Bates, Matt Lehman and Mick McSorley.
Come last Sunday, the now rising five-year-old Rajasthan had yet to win a race at Tara Raceway. First, he was beaten a nostril by Dyna Carnie in a heat of the 2020 Mount Gambier Cup before running fourth in the final a week later.
Then, after being transferred to Peckham’s kennels in early December, the black dog recorded five minor placings from six starts prior to lining up in the Metal Worx Mixed Stake (600 m) at last Sunday’s Tara Raceway meeting.
This time, though, it was always going to be Rajasthan’s day. He quickly found a forward spot from box one before running away to a 3½ lengths win over Saint Rock and Mick’s Kimmy in a slick 35.17 seconds.
From 124 starts he has now won 40 races on 11 different tracks as well as being placed on 46 occasions. All told he has won $400,795 in stakemoney.
Speaking earlier this week, Peckham put paid to a suggestion that Rajasthan was set to retire.
“No, while he’s fit and well we’ll continue to race him,” he said. “Besides, he’s still more than competitive down here, especially when he’s running times like he did on Sunday.”
Meanwhile, Callington trainer Wendy Sebastyan and her brother Bryan will be back at Tara Raceway this Sunday after their more than handy dog Thunder On scored a smart win in the Trackside Meats Stake (400 m), the first heat of a grade five series.
Leading all the way from box two, Thunder On held out Slick Fernando to win by three-quarters of a length in a quick 22.91 seconds and bring up his third successive win after victories at Angle Park and Murray Bridge.
The black dog, who contested a heat of the 2020 Mount Gambier Cup, has turned out to be a handy pick-up for Bryan Sebastyan. A maiden giveaway, he has now won 19 races over distances ranging from 300 metres to 515 metres.
Thunder On is also beautifully bred, being by Fabregas out of Springvale Bryne, a litter sister to Worm Burner and herself a winner of 29 races and $121,000 in stakemoney.
Tippa wrapped up a good day for Aloisi and his partners – and for Peckham, who trained three winners – when carving out 22.89 seconds to win the South Eastern Hotel Stake (400 m), the second heat of the grade five series.
And, according to Portland trainer Ben Boers, it’s now all about the Mount Gambier Cup.
He was speaking after Nitro Yap had held on to defeat Compton Peggy by a head in the Bourne Kennels Mixed Stake (512 m) in a personal best time of 29.92 seconds.
The win was the black dog’s 10th and makes him the most successful dog, from a number of wins point of view, he has trained.
Boers now has the Group Listed Mount Gambier Cup – heats and final on April 11 and 18 – firmly in his sights with Nitro Yap, a son of Nitro Burst and the 2015 Mount Gambier Cup winner Lots Of Yap which he also owned and trained.