Fry flying after eight-year absence from the track
MITCHELL Fry has only just made a comeback to training after an eight-year absence but Flash Ahh continued the successful return when he won his third from five starts in race three at Grafton on Wednesday.
Taking on a strong field on a damp track in the Grafton Taxis Showcase Benchmark Handicap 1400m, the four-year-old gelding took the cake in a photo finish.
Michael Costa-trained Firebox went in as the favourite, but Kirk Matheson's Kijito and Grafton trainer Shane Everson's Ilia pushed jockey Jason Collett right to the line.
Collett said he knew little about Fry's comeback but was pleased to be able to maintain the trainer's strong record since a return at Toowoomba on April 18.
"I didn't know too much about his background but as I've learnt today he's taken a break from training and just come back. He's doing a good job," Collett said.
"I've come to a couple of cup meetings. I haven't had any success in the cup itself but I had a couple winners last year for Matt Dunn in the Country Qualifying Race."
With very little separating the challengers over the final 50 yards, Collett knew he had to produce something special.
"I had about a length to make up at the hundred and I felt like I could do it. I felt like I had plenty of horse but he's still very green. If we were to have lost I think that would have been the difference," he said.
"He looked good in the class today. He's got plenty of ability."
Collett was pleased to be back for the July Carnival but said it had a different feel this year.
"I like the carnival, I like the atmosphere. It's a shame there aren't the same crowds but it is what it is," he said.
Collett's next race for the day will be the Ramornie Handicap, when he looks to take Kelly Purdy-trained Bandipur all the way before finishing off on Kris Lees' Chilly Cha Cha.
"My runner in the last is on the market and the Ramornie Handicap runner could also have a good go," he said.