Prices’ on the double as trip south pays off

DOUBLE UP: Luke Price with Budderoo Knight at their Kembla Grange stables. Picture: Robert Peet

DOUBLE UP: Luke Price with Budderoo Knight at their Kembla Grange stables. Picture: Robert Peet

Luke Price joked he’d have to pick up his game. 

 Winona Costin

Winona Costin

A one-two punch late in the day for the stable had just made his trip down the South Coast to Moruya a worthwhile one.

And both horses had came via dad Rob’s Nowra base.

First it was Budderoo Knight that put a space on his rivals before Leami Astray returned in similarly dominant fashion to complete a late double for the Prices on Tuesday. 

“I’ll have to step up this season,” Luke Price, who operates the stable’s Kembla Grange base, later told Sky Thoroughbred Central.

“I think we won the tally last season with the Kembla horses winning, but Dad has got the good start [this season]. 

“We brought the right horses down and they were well placed. They ran up to their potential.”

Placement was perfect at the mid-week meeting.

Budderoo Knight rarely looked like getting beaten first-up in the Matthew Dale Premier Trainer Handicap (1210m) after being aided by a smart rails hugging ride by Winona Costin,

Costin settled midfield before surging home along the fence to beat Mitali Assa Vedo by a widening two lengths, with Disturbance in third. 

“He’s got a good record here and a good record first up,” Robert Price said.

“I was a bit concerned. Luke was keen to be negative on him today but he is the sort of horse where things can go wrong when you make a plan. 

“The plan was, if there was a plan, to just be negative from the gate and to hope it unfolded in front of him.”

Costin employed similar tactics to help Leami Astray start her preparation on a winning note in the AMH Auto Group Class 3 Handicap (1020m). 

When the run opened up close to the rails, the six-year-old mare exploded clear to finish 2-½ lengths clear of Natalie Jarvis’ Malachi Crunch on the line. Eve’s Miss was third. 

“She hasn’t one for a while but it was good to see her get her confidence up with a kill like that,” Luke Price said.

“She was well weighted, Winona gave her a peach of a ride. It is good to see her do that because she hasn’t won for a long time and has always shown great ability.

“It was good to see her do that.”

Racing returns to Kembla Grange on Thursday, with the opening event set to jump at 12.30pm. 

Leading trainer Gwenda Markwell will look to make it back-to-back success early on the afternoon when promising three-year-old Bisque contests Duck Creek Dash Class 1 Handicap (1000m). Chad Lever takes the ride.