Fingal harness trainer Clinton Woods’ luck turned a full circle at Launceston on Sunday night when he won a race with eight-year-old gelding Touchwood Bucksta.
The previous day, Woods played football for Fingal in the NTFA division two grand final when his team failed to score for the entire game.
“We didn’t go so well – but at least I was a winner tonight”, Woods said after Touchwood Bucksta, a $14 outsider, powered home to beat equal favourite Barooga Billy in the Balmoral On York Stakes.
The narrow victory completed a double for driver David Medhurst who scored on Mister Gunadoo, also at double-figure odds, in the Make A Wish Australia Stakes.
Woods and his family have won seven races with Touchwood Bucksta who has managed only 43 starts in six seasons of racing.
“He’s been a bit of a problem horse,” the trainer said. “Every time we get him right, he’ll get a virus or something else will go wrong.
“He’s also suffered from ulcers but I think we’ve got that sorted out now.”
Woods said that he had given Touchwood Bucksta a chance last night after a good run at his previous start when he finished third despite breaking at the start.
“David didn’t push him out tonight – he just made sure he got away safely,” the trainer said. “The horse can sprint well and it was a good win.”
Touchwood Bucksta is out of Touchwood Lee who won 12 races for Woods’ father Peter.
Touchwood Lee is a daughter of the family’s foundation broodmare Unwanted Annie whose progeny have won almost 50 races.
“We’ve bred most of our horses from Unwanted Annie and her daughters,” Woods said.
Touchwood Bucksta is a good standing-start horse and Woods hopes he can advance through the classes and contest some of the country cups over summer.
“It would nice if we could get him to our home town cup at St Marys,” the trainer said.
By Greg Mansfield, The Examiner.