21 November 2023

Cooktown races: Ludwig rapt with maiden win of new stable arrival

| Cape York Weekly
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Tolga trainer Ricky Ludwig and jockey Scott Sheargold after winning the Cooktown RSL Memorial Club Maiden Plate at Cooktown. Picture: PETER ROY

ASTUTE Atherton Tablelands owner and trainer Ricky Ludwig believes he has unearthed another promising young galloper in the winner of the Maiden Plate at Cooktown last week.

Three-year-old gelding Ishotthedeputy saluted at his second career start and first for Ludwig over 1000 metres at the Far North Queensland club’s annual race day.

Ludwig recently purchased the Toronado youngster from Gold Coast trainer John Johnston.

Ludwig is confident that given time and experience he could emulate the feats of Ludwig’s former young star Bank Bank Bank.

Bank Bank Bank was sold to Hong Kong interests last year and won for the first time at Happy Valley recently as Tomodachi Kokoroe.

“The new bloke has a long way to go to match what Bank did but I think he’s got the making of a good horse,” Ludwig said.

“He raced greenly on Saturday but jockey Scott Sheargold got him over the line after racing on the outside of the leader for the majority of the race.

“Scott said the horse ran about a bit under pressure but still hit the line hard.

“We will probably send him around in a Class B race at Atherton in a fortnight and then look maybe at Cairns or Townsville to see how he measures up.”

Ludwig is a regular at the annual Cooktown meeting and won the Cup last year. He took two other horses this year – Red Lantern and Exalted Crown.

Red Lantern finished second in his race and Exalted Crown third to the Fred Wieland-trained Healing Game in the Cooktown Cup.

“I think we may have been a bit unlucky in the Cup,” Ludwig said.

“Scott reported that Exalted Crown was unsettled early in the race and may have been the result of the saddle pinching him.

“He was forced to take off a long way from home and join Healing Game in front and battled hard in the straight to hang on for third. Exalted Crown will go to a 1800 metre race at Home Hill soon.”

Apprentice jockey Jenna Edwards gave a great front-running display on Healing Game to land the biggest win of her career.

It was Healing Game’s third win from 15 starts for Wieland since being moved on from the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace stable in Melbourne.

Wieland has been training for more than 30 years and claimed his maiden Cooktown Cup with Red Savage in 2001.

– story by Garry Dell

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