Five-win haul has Brunton back on top of premiership table

Trainer Scott Brunton went into last Sunday’s Hobart meeting trailing Adam Trinder by three wins in the race for this season’s trainer’s premiership but a haul of five has seen him bounce back to the lead and favouritism to snare his eighth consecutive title in his own right.

Trainer : SCOTT BRUNTON Picture: Steve Hart

In Brief

  • Brunton assumes lead in race for trainer's premiership.
  • First Accused earns an interstate trip.
  • Pires finds form to land treble.

Scott Brunton has now prepared 52 winners while Trinder is on 50 and they are well clear of their nearest rival Glenn Stevenson on 28.

Brunton's five winners included First Accused that scored the most impressive win on the nine-race card in a benchmark 76 handicap over 1200m.

First Accused strolled to an almost two-length win over former Victorian gelding Music Addition and it gave talented apprentice Chelsea Baker a riding double.

Baker had First Accused settled behind the speed on the rail but when a gap appeared at the top of the straight, she drove through the hole and the gelding went on to win without being fully extended by almost two lengths from Music Addition with Tiesto a distant third.

First Accused was first-up from a two-month spell and after the win Brunton said the gelded son of Turffontein is likely to have his next outing in Melbourne.

"First Accused has always gone better second-up, so with that in mind I have picked out a couple options for him in Melbourne," Brunton said.

"He is potentially the best horse I have in the stable and while he can be quirky, he has loads of ability and we are just starting to see the best of him."

Brunton also has plans to take his three-year-old filly Verbano to Melbourne and she too was impressive in winning a benchmark 62 handicap over 1100 metres against older and more experienced opposition.

With David Pires aboard, the filly made use of the inside gate to settle behind the leader Ensnare with outsider Little River Boy on its outside and they were in that position turning for home.

Pires aimed his filly into a gap and the Alpine Eagle filly burst to the lead and she had no trouble holding her rivals at bay, with first starter in the state Bethpage running on for second ahead of the luckless Ivoryman that was held up in the home straight.

"Verbano carried 59 kilograms against older horses today and that's a feat, so I am very tempted to take her across the water for a fillies' race in Melbourne.

"She would go back into her own age group and probably down in the weights and for a filly that can race on the speed and possesses a good kick, there is a lot to like about her prospects interstate.

"There is a $50,000 race over 1400m for her at Elwick in a fortnight, but it might come up a bit quick."

Four-year-old gelding I'm Back was an emergency in the 1200-metre maiden but scraped into the field and punters backed him in to start the $4,20 favourite.

He rattled home late to give Baker the first leg of the double but riding honours on the day went to David Pires who landed a treble, and all for Brunton.

As well as delivering a superb ride aboard Verbano, Pires guided Freak on a Lead ($3.90) to victory in the class three handicap over 1400 metres after racing outside of the leader Imagine Howe ($2.80).

It was a head-bobbing finish that had most on course favouring the inside runner (Imagine Howe), but the photo finish showed otherwise.

Freak on a Lead was a modest $10,000 purchase at the 2019 Tasmanian Magic Millions Yearling Sale and so far, the gelded son of Moshe has won three and placed five times for almost $60,000 in stakes.

But Pires saved his best till last, giving promising stayer Travelling Gigolo plenty of time to get into his rhythm back in the field in the benchmark 62 (2100m) before charting a course through the field to go on and score a runaway win by 3-1/2 lengths.

Travelling Gigolo is another of Brunton's team destined to travel to Victoria for some a couple of staying events before being tipped out for a spell.


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