Trainer Dwayne Schmidt (picturedwith filly Fleeting Princess) was sceptical at first, but is pleased with the new addition to the stable.
Trainer Dwayne Schmidt (picturedwith filly Fleeting Princess) was sceptical at first, but is pleased with the new addition to the stable.

Beattie’s gamble pays off as La Miska takes the cake

RACING :Grafton trainer Dwayne Schmidt wasn’t happy when Clarence River Jockey Club chief executive officer Michael Beattie bought La Miska at a broodmare sale.

That all changed at Coffs Harbour today, however, when La Miska won the $20,000 Ted Russell Memorial Maiden Handicap (810m).

The three-year-old daughter of Puissance De Lune had run unplaced three times for Queensland trainer David Van Dyke before Beattie bought the filly and headed her to Schmidt’s Grafton stable.

“He didn’t pay much for her,” Schmidt said after her breakthrough win.

“I abused him.”

The $600 purchase entered Schmidt’s stable and showed him enough to suggest the purchase might not have been as bad as the trainer first thought.

“Her work was good and she paraded well,” he said.

“I thought if she could jump and find a position she’d be hard to beat.

“She ran up to her work, always good when they go and do that.”

La Miska kicked strongly but the Cathleen Rode-trained filly Vallejo challenged strongly at the 200m.

It acted as a huge spur for La Miska and she fought back strongly to win running away.

The win elevated Schmidt to equal fourth on the Northern Rivers Racing Association trainers premiership.

His 14th winner of the NRRA season drew him level with Ballina trainer Ethan Ensby after the first race at Coffs Harbour, 21 wins behind premiership leader Matt Dunn (35).

The two Matts (McGuren and Dunn) then made it 36 winners for the NRRA season when they combined to win the Bruce Hopkins Memorial Fillies and Mares Maiden Handicap (1315m) with odds-on favourite Astralis.

The daughter of Sebring was having her first run for Dunn and while she was tardy out of the barriers she unleashed under McGuren’s guidance to race away for a big win.

“Maybe she lacked a bit of confidence,” Matt Dunn said.

“Hopefully she will go on to bigger and better things.”