Comeback queen Alternative Facts makes incredible return
A FIVE-YEAR-OLD mare who has overcome a serious battle with pneumonia cruised to an emotional win for trainer Warren Gavenlock in Coffs Harbour on Thursday.
Alternative Facts ($1.95) lined up in the Class 2 Plate over 1000m and the odds-on favourite justified her starting price.
The five-year-old mare by Star Witness jumped midfield and was content to stay there until the straight, where she clicked into gear and raced away from the field.
"I was very impressed with her, she had a long lay off with pneumonia and I was concerned with how she'd come back," Gavenlock said.
"To run a class record, you can't be more happy with her than that."
The mare's battle with pneumonia kept her in the paddock for 36 weeks, as Gavenlock and his team worked around the clock to keep her healthy.
"It took a long time to shake and she's done so well to come back from it."
Gavenlock is now eyeing off taking his tough mare down to Sydney for a crack at a Highway Handicap on December 28.
"Her last attempt at a Highway she ran into Noble Boy, and we probably should have some second behind him. Her run down there before that she probably wasn't up to it.
"Now she's ready and I'm expecting her to go well."
Gavenlock also had three-year-old gelding Furphy impress in his third career start in Coffs Harbour on Thursday.
Furphy fought hard over the 1200m Maiden but was beaten by Bells Approaching.
"He can overrace and be his own worst enemy," Gavenlock said of Furphy.
"It was a good ride from Aaron (jockey Aaron Bullock), he let him roll along.
"It was just unlucky we ran into the Matthew Dunn horse who got the dream run. It opened up like Sydney Heads for him.
"To the little fella's credit though he stuck in there and got second."
Gavenlock said he's hoping to get a win with Furphy and graduate him to the Three-Year Old Magic Millions Guineas next year if he keeps improving.
The trainer also wanted to praise local vets and his team for helping out with five-year-old Ocean Nymph.
The mare trialled yesterday after a horrific injury at the start of the year.
"She broke her jaw and was on death's door," Gavenlock said.
"She trialled super and we're very happy to get her back to the races."