Maybe the S for Simon should stand for Softy instead.
Simon Miller knows how to set to his horses to win feature races but there was a sentimental touch in the talented trainer’s decision to set Comfysofa for the $90,000 Mungrup Sprint at Mt Barker last Sunday.
The race is the feature event of the Mt Barker season and local studmaster Gray Williamson has been the sponsor since 1998.
Williamson has had major health problems in 2013 and winning the Mungrup Sprint for the first time with a horse he bred and still has a share in – with the Oz Racing syndicate – made it a bright day for one of the truly nice guys in racing.
Oz Racing Syndicate manager, Bruce Saxild, said he was delighted with the win. “I’ve been buying horses off Gray for 16 years. He tells it like it is and never tries to put a gloss on a horse if it has defects.”
But Saxild admitted he wasn’t confident after the gelding missed the start of the 1305m sprint by a length. However, jockey Jason Whiting worked his way through the field before charging down the outside to win going away by three quarters of a length.
Troy Turner, on Rouge Dior, gave Comfysofa something to chase and that jockey was going for a back- to-back wins having claimed the 2013 Mungrup Sprint on Watermans Bay.
Ironically, Turner had ridden Comysofa to his first win at Bunbury on Australia Day 2012 when the galloper was trained by Chris Stelmach.
Jason Whiting became his regular rider after the Oz Racing Syndicate became involved and Comfysofa has since built an impressive record of 6 wins from 9 starts, justifying Williamson’s comments to Saxild that he was a horse with ability.
Comfysofa (5g Comfy – Sophie’s Waltz by Poliuto) has been turned out for a spell at Mungrup Stud and will resume racing in the autumn.
It was a case of all in the family when the Williamsons’ daughter Ann Croucher, who works at the family stud, presented her mother Jan with the trophy after the feature race.
Ann’s oldest boy Finley claimed the trophy and now it takes pride of place in his bedroom.
Finley Croucher hoists the Mungrup Sprint trophy behind his younger brother Hardy