Rhodin Drive delivers for Gwenda

Scott Pollard, on Rhodin Drive, has an outside chance in the race for the champion jockey title. Picture: GREG TOTMAN
Scott Pollard, on Rhodin Drive, has an outside chance in the race for the champion jockey title. Picture: GREG TOTMAN


For all the winners Gwenda Markwell has prepared over the years, two-year-olds have been few and far between.

In fact you can count the amount on one hand she's had over the last decade.

So it was with a fair bit of satisfaction Kembla Grange's leading lady watched on as debutant Rhodin Drive came with a rush to win the opener on Markwell's home track on Saturday.

Given a perfectly-judged Scott Pollard ride, the Reset gelding landed some good bets after being backed from $21 into $13 to gun down Deadset ($5.50) and Hieroglyphics ($5).

"There are not too many two-year-olds good enough to race as two-year-olds," Markwell said of a reluctance to push her juveniles to race.

"We'll probably give him another start at the provincials and see what happens from there."

Rhodin Drive had only been afforded the one easy barrier trial at Kembla, but showed a turn of foot down the extreme outside which suggested better races could be in store.

And it also was a huge fillip for Pollard, who is clinging to an outside chance of chasing down Mitchell Bell and Jeff Penza in the race for the champion jockey title.

"I'm in touch, but they've got the power of the bigger stables behind them which is always very hard to beat and they're both riding good," Pollard said.

"[Markwell] just doesn't buy two-year-old horses. If she's got a blank chequebook to go to the sales with she won't buy two-year-olds ... she'll buy horses that mature into older horses.

"You have to wait a while for them [to mature], but it's just old school horsemanship.

"He [Rhodin Drive] had done it in his work and he's done in it his jumpouts so we weren't surprised how he went [on Saturday] at all."

Markwell's mortgage on the champion trainer crown shows no sign of abating as Rhodin Drive inspired a winning treble for Kingston Lodge on Saturday.

Man Of Colours was soft on the line in easily winning the Maiden Handicap (1400m) for the boys, while Paul Hammersley brought up his winning double aboard And God Said Yes in the Class 1 and Maiden Plate (2000m).

Markwell is keeping her options open with Man Of Colours ($2.10f), who could be steered towards a Wagga Guineas or Queensland Derby path.

"He was very impressive," Markwell said. "I don't know where we're going to go next, but there's the possibility of the Wagga Guineas or a mid-weeker in town.

And God Said Yes' ($3.60) effort was even more remarkable considering Markwell had sent him around at Wyong only 48 hours earlier on a rain-affected track. "He needed the ground and needed a dead track," she said.


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