Racing: Spechenka returns to winning list at Caloundra

Photo / APN
Photo / APN

Injury-prone stayer Spechenka put Beaudesert trainer Ben Ahrens back in the spotlight with a narrow victory in the Caloundra Cup on Saturday.

Spechenka, ridden by Ryan Wiggins, stormed home from last to deny Ipswich Cup winner Gold In Dubai another Cup victory by a short neck in the 2400m feature.

Last year's Caloundra Cup runner-up Tinseltown finished third.

Ahrens, 32, conceded he had almost given up hope with Spechenka this campaign after the 5-year-old suffered a horror run of injuries.

The son of Danachenka was originally being set for last month's Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm before the wheels fell off his campaign.

"He's had so many setbacks and we had to keep changing course with him," Ahrens said.

"Thankfully, we persevered."

Ahrens has been training for eight years after abandoning a career as a physiotherapist.

He was raised at Cedar Creek, midway between Beenleigh and Beaudesert, on his family's 15ha farm and now has 14 horses in work.

His decision to throw in a physiotherapy career at Logan Hospital, south of Brisbane, was rewarded when Spechenka won the Summer Cup (2400m) at Randwick last December.

Ahrens, who once worked with the British Olympic team, showed an interest in thoroughbreds only in his teenage years while playing league.

But the heavy training schedule, repeated injuries and the discovery of his local TAB helped with his decision to hang up the boots at age 19.

Ahrens is now likely to change direction again with Spechenka and will aim him at the Grafton Cup (2350m) on Thursday week.

"We were planning for the Queensland Cup but with all the problems he's had he wouldn't be right for 3200m," he said.

The Spechenka story also had an unusual beginning as Ahrens' strapper Debbie Argue bred the gelding.

"Debbie straps this horse and got the mother [Special Class] as a giveaway and bred from her," Ahrens said.

* It wasn't the Stradbroke Handicap and it wasn't a group one race but Woorim still showed he has one of Australia's most devastating finishes with an easy win in the A$175,000 Glasshouse Handicap.

Woorim made it back-to-back wins in the listed 1400m feature when he produced his typical blistering finish to score an easy win.

Winning rider Damian Browne helped qualify Woorim for the Stradbroke when he partnered him to victory in the BTC Sprint at Doomben on May 21 but missed the plum ride in the big race through a careless riding suspension.

Woorim ($6) powered to the front passing the 200m and raced away in the closing stages to beat Meet George ($21) by a 1 lengths, with Phelan Ready ($9) three lengths back third.


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