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I’m not saying this filly will scale any great heights, and no doubt there will be comments below after reading this, stating, “oh she beat nothing.” Which may all prove to be correct.

After all, this was only a bush maiden 2YO.

But, I think you’ll agree this was some sort of performance…..opposition aside.

To set it up, I watch replay after replay after replay. And often I see good runs. I mark them down as horses to back next start. I also get excited about the performances, as we all do, about the superstar racehorses.

Then once in a while, a very long while, I just find myself saying….wow! And that happened to me watching this lowly 2YO Mdn race at Ballina on Tuesday.

The horse, is a little chestnut filly with a white snip on her head, called JOEY’S GIFT (Pluck-Special Order), and she blew from $20 to start at $41.

How that is possible I don’t know. Surely her owner, Sharon Wilson, must have been informed at the very least that her horse, ‘goes alright.’ Perhaps she doesn’t punt.

Anyway, well, you watch the video.

She bungles the start by 2 lengths, is 10 off the pace, made by experienced horses, as they come to the tiny home turn, then changes legs, races erratically in the straight, yet her last 200m was breathtaking. And remember, this was her very first race start after just one trial where she was beaten half a furlong. To be fair though, she was under a stranglehold all the way in the trial.

I’m going to Black Book her. Her last 600m was the fastest of any horse on the day at the meeting.

But apart from the run, the Joey’s Gift story is a great little yarn in itself.

She was raised at Glen Gallic Stud in Martindale, which is in the Hunter Valley of NSW near Denman, and offered as a 2Y0 for sale at the January Inglis Online Digital auction.

She didn’t attract a bid.

“Exactly 11 weeks ago today I purchased Joey’s Gift for $500, privately off the farm, and I offered shares in her with very little interest. In fact, no one wanted to buy in. It was Sharon Wilson who stepped up and took her on,” said said Robert Agnew her trainer.

“Fast forward 11 weeks and yesterday she won her first start very impressively at Ballina and took home $11,000.

“So proud of her, and she is my first win as a jockey/trainer – it has been a slow process to get to where we are now.”

Robert Agnew had just 2 horses at the time of purchase.

Joey’s Gift, who has an unplaced older sibling, in winning on debut here, became the first winner from her unraced Fusaichi Pegasus mum named Special Order.

And more importantly than that, as mentioned by Agnew, she is the first winner EVER trained by him. He only took out his trainer’s licence this time last year!

Oh, and to make it just that little bit sweeter for Agnew, his other horse, CHILLIE COD (Sun Of May-Miss Moguls) ran 3rd in the same race.

“I have learnt a lot in the short time I have been on the training side of things and I’ve gone from 1 horse to 4 in work now,” said Agnew who wants more of the above.

“Yes, the plan is to keep on growing. And I can’t do that without owners, so next time you see a post of a horse with shares available from me, this story could be about you.”


As for owner Ms Wilson, this is also her VERY first winner as an owner.

“No one wanted her, but to me, it just felt right at the time. There really isn’t any other reason lol!!” she said.

“But, it’s a decision I won’t regret!!”

Agnew’s base is at Port Macquarie.

I think we might hear more from him and indeed little Joey’s Gift.


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