In The Boat takes out The Country Discovery at Sale

Jockey Blaike Mcdougall said that a win at the highest level beckons after the Lindsey Smith-trained In The Boat scored impressively in the inaugural running on $500,000 The Country Discovery (1100m) at Sale racecourse.

In this feature event on the first thoroughbred meeting ever held in Victoria on Good Friday, In The Boat ($5 equal favourite) rewarded McDougall’s early research on the course conditions to score by 2¾-lengths over Brooklyn Hustle ($6) and Sirius Suspect ($31) 1½-lengths away in third.

“I was seeing how soft the track was in my first few rides and I lost a bit of confidence,” McDougall said post-race.

“I just tested out the straight and towards the back chute and I found the inside was quite worn so I tried to get him on a fresh patch of grass.”

It was that fresher patch of Sale turf which assisted In The Boat to notch the four-year-old gelding’s seventh win in 11 starts.

“He’s a ripper, this horse,” McDougall added.

“I think as long as he stays sound and fit, he’ll win a Group 1 especially at The Valley.

“The sectionals he can run early, and how he allows himself to quick off it makes it nearly impossible to catch.”

In the Boat has shown a liking for the 1100-metre trip with this win the gelding’s third in four starts.

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