Hall of Fame reinsman Ricky Duggan claimed his 30th Tasmanian Sires’ Stakes victory aboard the Rodney Ashwood-trained Watchmylips in Sunday nights Group 2 Maxfield Drilling Raider Stakes Final in Devonport.
Sent out as the $1.30 favourite, Duggan settled Watchmylips one-out and three back from his wide second-row draw in the 2665-metre event.
Watchmylips led up the three-wide line from the 1100m before sweeping to the lead at the 500m to put the race beyond doubt, scoring by 7.6m over Kosimo, who got an inside run late, with the early leader Kivik a further 2.4 metres away in a mile rate of 2m 2.0s.
“He sprinted hard the last 1200m and he finished off alright, it is a credit to the horse, we have had a lot of problems with him but he went good tonight,” said trainer Rodney Ashwood after the race.
“It is the first time he has won from behind tonight. He has done it pretty good, especially drawn 10 around Devonport,” added the trainer.
Ashwood was also pleased to team up with Ricky Duggan to claim another feature race win for the duo.
“He is a very lucky person Ricky (Duggan) on big nights, he doesn’t travel to Devonport much but when he does come he has a lot of luck.
He is a very good driver and very good friend of mine,” Ashwood said.
Although he raced in Victoria earlier this season, Ashwood is happy to keep the gelded son of Hes Watching in Tasmania with many open class features in the state from now until the Easter Cup in Launceston on Easter Saturday.
“I think we will target the Tasmania Cup and a few of the stands down here and see how we go from there.
“I think when he steps with the bigger boys in free-for-alls where he can follow and just educate him to settle a bit better like he did tonight, you will see a real nice horse,” added the Brighton-based trainer.
Watchmylips was bred by Jamie Cockshutt and Barry Cooper, and is raced by the duo along with Peter Kurowski.