Pat Carey’s reputation as a specialist trainer of stayers might need some revision following the wins of Donna Madeira and Perfectly Stunning over sprint courses at Sandown on Wednesday.
Having her first start in the Swettenham Stud Dash For Cash (900m), Donna Madeira flew from the gates and maintained her blistering speed throughout.
Carey, who rarely runs two-year-olds or sprinters, had Donna Madeira well-schooled and perfectly prepared for a debut that upset a massive plunge on the runner-up Sworn Revenge.
She then survived an optimistic protest from Glen Boss who claimed interference soon after the start to Sworn Revenge had cost him more than the 1-3/4 length winning margin.
Sworn Revenge was backed from $3 to $1.75 for Wednesday’s race, at the same time firming from $50 to $13 for the Blue Diamond for which she is now $26.
While Donna Madeira doesn’t necessarily fit Carey’s usual style, she is bred to be a quality racehorse.
“She’s from the family of Centaine who was a very fast sprinter, it’s been a great family for a quarter of a century,” Carey said.
“She’d shown us she was pretty sharp, but you just don’t know,” he said.
“But she’s come here and done the job, so we’ll look for something better for her now.”
Carey followed up with Perfectly Stunning to win the Settlement Hotel Handicap (1300m).
Perfectly Stunning ($4.80) scored by a half length from the favourite Vibrant Rouge ($2.40) with a further 1-3/4 lengths to Louisville Dancer ($8) in third place.
Another better-than-average midweek winner emerged from the rejuvenated David Hayes stable at Sandown in the remodelled Rifleman.
A colt of great promise in his first preparation when he mixed it with the likes of star filly Mosheen, Rifleman ($2.25) returned to racing as favourite with a solid win in the Dunlite Handicap (1000m).
Hayes’ stable foreman Bruno Rouge-Serret said Rifleman had benefited greatly from a long spell and from being gelded.
“He was all legs and no body last time in work and needed a good spell,” Rouge-Serret said.
“He needed gelding as well, but it was a tough decision because he is very well-bred horse,”.
“But he wouldn’t have amounted to much if he’d remained a colt.”
The stable will now examine some better possibilities for Rifleman with the Group One Oakleigh Plate not out of the question.
Rifleman beat Costa In The Glen ($10) by three-quarters-of-a-length with Chelembra ($3.50) a further head away in third.