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08/04/02 Five Year Drought Broken for Pound Shilling
Eight-year-old gelding Pound Shilling has ended a five year drought when he scored a fighting half length win in Saturday’s Kimba Cup (1880m) in South Australia.

While most of the attention during the afternoon was centred on the wins of Sunline and Republic Lass in Sydney, the eyes of three knockabout Ceduna men were fixed firmly on their veteran galloper.

Before yesterday’s triumph the gelding had been to the races on 44 occasions and only won twice. Once at two and again at three for his breeder and original trainer, well known wine grower Wally Tonkin. Tonkin is best known as the breeder, owner and original trainer of Sydney Cup winner Streak.

A chestnut gelding by Thameen from the Shako mare Penny Echo, Pound Shilling was seen in public when he ran a half length second in a barrier trial at Victoria Park during June 1996. Then after a debut tenth on a heavy track at Victoria Park he broke through at 7/1 when he beat nine rivals in a two-year-old race at Balaklava.

Wally Tonkin, his then trainer, realised the gelding would be better suited over the longer trips and he managed to get the gelding to win his second race at Cheltenham on March 1997 when he ran over 1817 metres.

At his following start Pound Shilling ran a credible sixth (of fifteen) in the listed Port Adelaide Guineas behind Kipling, Rongafranka and Will Fly. Then at Victoria Park he led them up and fought on well to again finish sixth in the Derby Trial over 2000 metres - finding his opposition headed by King’s Landing, Voodoo Beat and Kipling just a tough too tough.

Since his win at Cheltenham in Adelaide on March 26, 1997, Pound Shilling has started 33 times and had not managed to win.

In his long run of outs the gelding also seriously bowed a tendon and about 14 months on the sidelines. He again had a long break - close to a year - before he took up his new residence at Ceduna, on South Australia’s far west coast.

There he joined the stables of leading local trainer Trevor Trenowden. A nine time winner of Eyre Peninsula’s top training award and the trainer of one of this season’s most exciting Port Lincoln gallopers Wilds of Virginia - a filly owned by Wally Tonkin, the man who bred Pound Shilling.

At his first run for the new stable the gelding wasn’t expected to trouble his opposition. The 1250 metre Class 2 event at Port Lincoln was just the start of a long preparation which would fit him for races over the longer trips in the coming months.

Second up the gelding ran this season’s EP Horse of the Year Follow the Stars to a long neck in a 1200 metre Open Flying event at his home track of Ceduna signalling he wasn’t just there to make up the numbers.

Two runs later he was beginning to get to a distance of his liking when he ranged up to his opposition but switched off before finishing a close fourth, again at Ceduna.

After finishing just behind the placegetters in both the Penong and Ceduna Cups the gelding was given a month off before heading to Port Lincoln for their famous Cup Carnival.

After hitting the front a long way out in the 1950 metre Class 2 event the gelding was grabbed half way up the straight by Puravalour in what was an encouraging effort.

Those who seen the effort of Puravalour to finish a close second at Murray Bridge last Wednesday would have been lining up to back the gelding in his race on Saturday.

In between Port Lincoln and Kimba the oldtimer headed to Streaky Bay, the home town track of leading Melbourne jockey Kerrin McEvoy, and he was nosed out by Unsub in a thrilling finish that required a photo finish.

The close second at Streaky Bay was the gelding’s final lead up race before tackling the Kimba Cup in central Eyre Peninsula yesterday.

The race has been a kind one for Trenowden. He’s won it in the past with the good performer Woodridge Lad and finished a narrow second with El Shaadai a few year’s ago from just a few attempts.

But he must take a great deal of credit for the achievement to train a "non-winning" and "bad-legged" gelding to win the town’s feature race.

In fact Pound Shilling wasn’t the only winner for Trenowden on the five event card. Desert Shade, a former Murray Bridge trained galloper was also successful in a race where Trenowden provided the quinella from his two runners.

"It was a great day as I took seven horses to Kimba and returned with six cheques," Trenowden reflected today.

Trenowden said Pound Shilling would probably head to a race in Adelaide due to a lack of suitable events closer to home in the near future.

"There’s a 2200 metre event in town toward the end of the month he may have to run in. There isn’t anything else much around here," Trenowden said.

"But first he will have a couple of days off in the paddock. I think the old fella deserves that," he added.

And I, along with his owners Kyle Hardy, Michael Sleep and Justin Gurney agree!

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