The Guru adds local flavour to Gong opener

The locals have drawn first blood at Kembla’s flagship meeting with trainer Theresa Bateup and apprentice Brock Ryan combining to capture the opening race with The Guru.

Bateup has spent her career training from the provincial track, while Ryan is indentured to fellow Kembla Grange trainers Robert and Luke Price.

The pair won the last race at the corresponding meeting 12 months ago with Monegal and were again to the fore in Saturday’s Go Hire Handicap (2000m) with The Guru ($11) fighting hard to defeat Shibli ($5) by a head.

Five Kingdom ($7) held third after leading, another short neck away.

Bateup said it was always special to win a metropolitan race on her home track and the fact it was stable favourite The Guru who delivered made it extra sweet.

“He has always been a special horse in the stable,” Bateup said.

“We deliberately went to the sales to buy him because we had his half-sister (Fleeting Stryke). The half-sister I’ve kept and she has just had her first foal at hand, and I just recently bought the half-brother (Hudoo Vudoo).

“He’s got plenty of character about him and there is an absolutely fantastic bunch of owners that are on the journey with us.”

Bateup was confident The Guru would run well but was unsure if he had the class to win.

However, Ryan gave him a beautiful ride and when the horse found himself in a three-way battle to the line, Bateup knew he would dig deep.

“I thought the one on the outside might outsprint him, but to his credit he knuckled down,” Bateup said.

“When he got into a bit of a dog fight, I was always confident he’d dig in for the fight and have a go.

“I think he needs something to concentrate on and switch him on. The fact he had a couple of challengers there really helped put his mind on the job.”

About RS NewsWire

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