Saturday, 18 August 2012
: Consistent sprinter Second Effort turned back the clock for his trainer Clinton McDonald and jolted the memory of jockey Chris Symons with his victory in the Group Two PB Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
But mostly he earned himself a reputation for durability and courage.
Second Effort has overcome a variety of nagging leg issues to win Victoria's biggest country sprints and, now, one of the spring's major lead-in races.
Sent out a $9 chance, Second Effort rallied strongly to beat Zamorar ($6) by 1-1/4 lengths with Ready To Rip ($3.80) a short neck away third.
"He's had a few problems over the years so we sent him to a young guy over at Phillip Island to see if he could do something for him," McDonald said.
"He did a great job."
The young trainer was Shea Eden who sorted out Second Effort on the beach at Woolamai and sent him back to McDonald ready to win.
Second Effort showed he had returned in good order with a 1000m win at Caulfield followed by success in the Listed Wangoom Handicap at Warrnambool's famous May carnival.
For McDonald, the Lawrence win followed his success in the same race eight years ago with Regal Roller who had a race named after him on the Caulfield program.
"He's no Regal Roller, but I'm very proud of him," McDonald said.
The win also gave Symons a flashback, but one he wasn't as keen to recall.
Symons rode another McDonald family star, Weekend Hussler, in his first race, only to be replaced for the horse's second run, never to return.
"I've wondered about that a bit, but Clinton's put me on a few since," he said.
"I'm just hoping I get another ride on this horse."
Traditionally the Lawrence, previously the JJ Liston Stakes, has launched dozens of spring campaigns, its winners including such topliners as Apache Cat, Pompeii Ruler, Mahogany, Dr Grace and Sydeston.
But the 2012 edition seems less likely to be a part of the spring form of any big-race aspirant.
Of the stayers to use it as a pipe-opener, Fiumicino finished ninth and the Irish Derby runner-up Seville was 10th, neither of them warming up on the heavy track.