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Gold Coast trainer celebrates track opening with prolific run

3 minute read

Young Gold Coast trainer Angela Plumb is enjoying a purple patch in her career and was able to translate that to a victory on the official opening of the new grass on her home deck.

Picture: Michael McInally/Racing Queensland

The Angela Plumb stable had to wait until the lucky last event from Aquis Park on Saturday to register the win but the consistent Lady Shotgun did the job over 1400 metres in a Benchmark 58 Handicap.

The Gold Coast Turf Club's first meeting on the new racing surface was praised by all industry participants following the seven event program on Saturday.

Officials will give the Gold Coast time to recover from Saturday's reopening with its next scheduled grass meeting on January 6 when it hosts the $250,000 The Wave.

Plumb – who trains out of the Gold Coast – says it is excellent to have the grass back from a racing and training perspective with her team of gallopers.

"It was fantastic, the track," Plumb said.

"All the jockeys had positive feedback about it, Michael Cahill who rode my horse really liked it.

"It was a very good day. It is a big relief to have the grass back."

The 31-year-old Plumb is in the midst of her strongest period since she took out her licence almost a decade ago. 

The Plumb surname is steeped in racing history in the Sunshine State

Since the calendar ticked over to the 2023-24 season, Plumb has the best strike-rate she has ever recorded for victories and placings from her team.

She has six winners (15 per cent strike rate) and 10 placings (39 per cent) from just 41 starters since the start of August.

The total of six winners for a season is an equal-best career tally for Plumb.

Lady Shotgun has accounted for two of those victories as the three-year-old filly has won her last two efforts.

She broke her maiden status in the city on a Wednesday before doubling up on Saturday on her home track.

A $36,000 purchase at the January sales, Lady Shotgun has surpassed that price with career earnings from just seven starts and it looked like there is more to come.

"We galloped her on the course proper on Tuesday before the races, which was good," Plumb said.

"Michael rode her and she galloped really well, we were pretty confident about Saturday."

Cahill and Lady Shotgun came from the back half of the field before the home turn to score in a bunched finish to the last race.

"I was really happy to have another win with her, we probably should have won a few races prior to that," Plumb said.

"I was very happy to make it two in a row with her.

"She has been consistent the whole way through and I think she will keep improving."

As well as Lady Shotgun, Plumb has enjoyed success with the filly's half-sister Shotgun Diva.

Shotgun Diva has won two from 20 and been placed on six other occasions.

Plumb had Russian Diva from her team run second at Toowoomba on Saturday evening following the Gold Coast races.

She also started Seventies Hit in The Gateway on Saturday in the city but the gelding did not figure in the finish of the feature event.

As well as praise from Plumb and Cahill, a number of other participants lauded the new surface at the Gold Coast on Saturday.

Group 1-winning hoop Ryan Wiggins took to social media on Saturday after his four engagements.

"Congratulations to the Gold Coast Turf Club on their new track, such a nice track to ride on," Wiggins said following the races.

As did fellow hoop Micheal Hellyer.

"No luck today but was outstanding to ride on the new Gold Coast Turf Club turf track, congratulations to all staff and track mangers on the job they have done, looking forward to riding on it again soon," Hellyer said.

Veteran jockey Cahill was pleased with how the track raced. 

"They have to be happy with how it raced, they won from the front, they won from the back, so it is all positive signs at this stage," Cahill told Racenet. 

"I have been on a few new tracks and I think this one is as good as any I have been on.

"The new one is so nicely cambered and you seem to have more space coming down the straight into the home turn, there is a rise leading into the straight.

"What I will say is that it seems you had more space and time. It will be pretty good for the two big meetings they have coming up in January."

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