Mowbray winner heading to Melbourne

Talented gelding North Lodge looks set to embark on another interstate campaign following an impressive win in at the TOTE Racing Centre at Mowbray on Sunday.

North Lodge (5g Festival Hall – Kita Ryokan by Grand Lodge) produced a powerful finish coming from worse than midfield nearing the home turn to win by almost a length from Uboa and Mr Isaac.

It was only his third career win but arguably his best, although it was a surprise for connections who were apprehensive about his winning chances owing to the meeting being transferred from Elwick to Mowbray.

The Michael Voss-trained gelding had success interstate last season and the trainer is confident the son of Festival Hall can repeat the dose.

“We weren’t sure he would handle the track because he disappointed the last time at Mowbray,” Voss explained.  “But it may have been a touch drier this time and he finished the race off well.

“He is a horse that looks after himself a bit so the conditions usually have to be in his favour.  His work had been exceptional so we thought he could win if he handled the track.”

North Lodge had a shaky start to his racing career with his habit of pulling fiercely in his races giving his former trainer and part-owner Christine Crook some sleepless nights.  But early last preparation jockey Eddie Brennen put in a lot of hours on the training track trying to teach him to settle and it paid dividends.

Crook took the horse to Victoria last September where he won over 2100m at Ballarat and followed up a second at the same venue.  “Chris has always been confident he will stay and the horse gives me that impression, too,” Voss said.  “I’d like to give him one more run over 2100 metres in Hobart on Sunday week before we head across the water.”

Voss and Crook kicked off their training partnership in May.  Voss spent seven years with Charlie Goggin before joining Crook at her Campania stables.

North Lodge is the first foal for Crook’s Hobart winner Kita Ryokan.  Her latest foal is a colt by Matsqui.

The Mowbray winner is by Festival Hall (Sadler’s Wells).  He is based at Larry Dalco’s Fairlands Thoroughbreds near Launceston after stints in Victoria and WA.