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Rookie scores with the King

Monday, 29th December, 2014

Matt Schembri hits the winning line with four-year-old gelding King of Dreams at the Memorial Paceway on Saturday night. PICTURES: Michael Murphy Matt Schembri hits the winning line with four-year-old gelding King of Dreams at the Memorial Paceway on Saturday night. PICTURES: Michael Murphy

By Michael Murphy

King of Dreams delivered a couple of firsts for trainer/driver Matt Schembri at the Memorial Oval Paceway on Saturday night.

Schembri steered the four-year-old bay gelding to victory in the first race of the night, giving the rookie driver his first win.

It was also King of Dreams’ first win under Schembri the trainer, who picked up the horse from a Penrith stable about six months ago.

“We went into the race knowing that he had a good chance,” Schembri said.

“It was the first time I drew barrier one, two or three ... I came up with three so I knew we had a good chance.”

King of Dreams hit the front early on and didn’t look back, hitting the line nine-and-a-half metres in front of the Harold Pearce-trained Artois Stone, driven by John Garnaut.

Misperception, driven by Cassie Robinson and trained by Donald Pimm, came in third.

King of Dreams is hitting good form after a third last week in Broken Hill behind Youvegotobelieveit and Riverboat Girl.

It was the gelding’s second win of his short career, the first coming as a two-year-old in Sydney.

Schembri said he changed the King’s routine a few weeks ago, and he believes he has a bit more in the tank. 

“We changed his work around to try and keep him happy and we changed the gear around on him as well, and so far it has been working,” Schembri said.

“He pulled up very well and will race again in Broken Hill on Saturday night.

“There’s still a bit of improvement (to be found) on his fitness ... we will take it week by week with him,” said Schembri, who now has a driver record of 16 starts, one win, four seconds and six thirds.

King of Dreams had a memorable start to life in Broken Hill this year when he busted a lock on his yard and took off.

Schembri only had him for a week when he noticed he was missing and called in a search party.

They eventually found the spirited escapee unharmed two days later about 40 kilometres out of Broken Hill on the Sydney road.

Results from Saturday’s meeting were:

Race one: 1st 3 King of Dreams, 2nd 1 Artois Stone, 3rd 6 Misperception, 4th 4 Loa Aloha. Margin 9.1m. Mile rate: 2.4.0.

Race two: 1st 2 Youvegotobelieveit, 2nd 4 Eye Carly, 3rd 6 Missouri Blue, 4th 5 Horizon Miss. Margins 11m x 1.3m. Mile rate: 2.4.1.

Race three: 1st 6 Heza Bomber, 2nd 5 Mattichiello, 3rd 1 Vee Jay Jazz, 4th 7 Wrinkle Knutt. Margins 2.2m x halfhead. Mile rate: 2.3.9.

Race four: 1st 8 Bettabelucky, 2nd 1 Ellehigh, 3rd 7 Montana Madge, 4th 6 Walk With Kings. Margins 3.4m x 5.7m. Mile rate: 2.4.3.

Race five: 1st 2 Shadow Spar, 2nd 6 The Mighty Jim, 3rd 5 Red Loco, 4th 9 Armbro River. Margins 14.7m x 2.2m. Mile rate 2.7.0.

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