Speed machine Gold Rory returned from the wilderness for score a fighting first-up victory in the Browns Sawdust & Shavings Hcp (1000m) at Cranbourne on Friday evening.
He was facing the starter for just the fourth time but trainer Mark Riley has never lost faith in the five year-old son of Mungrup Stud sire Danehill Express.
Gold Rory (5g Danehill Express – Rory’s Song by Rory’s Jester) jumped straight to the front for Steve Baster and fought back strongly when tackled by Inspector in the straight. He fell in by a nose and clocked 58.19s which is just a tick outside the course record.
Riley is hoping he will stand up for an extended campaign this season. “We’ve had to be patient,” he said. “He chipped knees early doors and then caught a virus. He’s been in and out and nothing has gone right.
“His coat is still coming through and he’s done an unbelievable job to win tonight. There’s plenty of upside – don’t worry about that.”
Gold Rory was a runaway 7 length winner on debut at Mornington as a spring three year-old and Riley was considering a Group 1 start in the Coolmore Stakes but he was injured second-up at Moonee Valley.
Off the scene for a year after surgery, he returned for a first-up placing at Moonee Valley in November 2013 but was then sidelined for another 12 months.
Gold Rory was a $42,500 buy from Mungrup Stud at the 2011 Perth Magic Millions. Riley was drawn to the colt having trained his older half-brother Gold In Dubai (Desert Sun) to five wins and over $570,600 in prizemoney.
Their dam Rory’s Song has a 2yo colt by Oratorio, a yearling colt by Dick Turpin and she foaled a filly to the English National Stud – Mungrup Stud shuttler this week.
Mungrup stands Danehill Express for a $5,500 (inc gst) service fee.