Moonshine Lady leads from barrier to box at Kensington

It was her first race start for trainer Kristen Buchanan, but rank outsider Moonshine Lady ($19) hasn’t wasted any time in getting off the mark by leading all the way over 1100m at Randwick Kensington.

The six-year-old mare jumped straight to the front for hoop Koby Jennings and never let anything past her to salute by two and a quarter lengths ahead of Lepreezy ($8.50) with Misteed ($13) a further length back in third.

The former Queensland mare put the writing on the wall for this with a dominant Wyong trial win on December 20, and stable representative and strapper Jess Castle was not surprised by the winning debut for the stable.

“As soon as she jumped well I knew she’d probably be hard to catch,” Castle said.

“From her trial form I thought she’d probably run away from them a little bit. She did a super job.”

Moonshine Lady had not run a place in her past four starts up north, including being beaten ten lengths at the Sunshine Coast last time out, but Castle wasn’t surprised with the sharp improvement in form.

“Kristen does a super job with her horses, she does a really good job turning their form around,” Castle said.

“They are always immaculately turned out, she looks beautiful.”

Castle was rapt with the steer provided by Jennings, who has had a lot of success with the Buchanan stable in the past.

“Koby does a real good job getting them comfortable mid-race, we really like using him,” Castle said.

“He’s ridden a lot of winners for us, the strike rate is probably pretty good.”

When asked if he expected the first-up effort of Moonshine Lady, Jennings explained he is always hopeful when on board a Buchanan-trained galloper.

“You’ve got to give them a chance when Kristen Buchanan trains them,” Jennings said.

“She just does such a good job with her horses, you’ve got to be confident when you’re riding for her.

“It probably did surprise me the way it jumped and just grabbed, but when we straightened up and I put my hands down I knew I was going to win.”

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