Anthony Cavallo knew Molasses was in the mood before Wednesday’s sprint at Wellington had even jumped.
The Keirle’s Pharmacy Mountain and Rivers Flying Handicap (1000m) marked the fifth time Cavallo had piloted the Dennis Bush-trained gelding and it turned out to be his second win in that time.
The sprint event at Wellington attracted a class field and there was plenty of pace early, but Cavallo and Molasses came home over the top of Heza Thief and win by a length.
“He felt good, really. He felt good going up to the barriers,” Cavallo grinned.
“He’s a bit of a nervy tight horse but he felt great. Coming into the turn he felt like a winner.”
While thoroughly impressed with the feeling of Molasses, Cavallo confessed it wasn’t quite up to the quality he felt when the Forbes-based sprinter won at Coonamble in March of this year.
That win came during what was a stellar preparation for Bush, one that included a crack at the Country Championships, and after a 10-week let-up it’s clear the six-year-old hasn’t lost anything.
Molasses was popular among punters and favourite for a long time leading in before the Don and Andrew-Ryan trained Somebody firmed into $3.50 by the time the race jumped.
Molasses left barrier two in the second line of betting at $4 and Cavallo settled close to the lead after She Zar ($41) shot out to a lead, in front of Heza Thief ($19) and Escebee ($91).
Molasses tracked the leaders along the rails and sat in prime position in third as the field rounded the bend for home.
Escebee began to fade as Heza Thief moved in to the lead.
Andrew Banks, onboard Heza Thief, got the Cowra-trained gelding to hang on for as long as he could but Molasses had another gear and went past to score a fifth career win in start 15.
“He drew well and a couple went quick but we could cart up,” Cavallo said.
“The looked good third time-up and he raced well.”
As Cavallo rightly pointed out, the win was even more impressive given the fact Molasses has been working his way up through the grades.
“The grades are getting stronger so he did really well,” he said.
“But if he sticks around the 1000m and the 1100m then I can’t see why he won’t win a few more around here.”
Heza Thief was second while Somebody was third.
Mudgee trainer Cameron Crockett enjoyed an early double at Wellington.
Shesabitfoolish was Crockett’s first winner, scoring by one-and-a-half lengths in the State Wide Sheds 2YO Maiden Plate (1100m) while Crim made it back-to-back wins with success in the Kitch and Sons Benchmark 55 Handicap (1400m).