Gawler: De Thorn’s shock win at $151 ends a long run of outs for trainer Alex Stra

Trainer Alex Stra couldn’t believe his luck and change in fortune when $151 pop De Thorn delivered a knockout blow to win a maiden over 1100m at Gawler on Saturday.

Lining up for its second start after an inglorious 17½-length last on debut at Murray Bridge on June 13, De Thorn finished strongly under vigorous riding from Karl Zechner to beat well-supported The Partisan and another roughie and debutant May’s West.

Shrewd punters were able to find odds of up to $255 on the winner on some betting platforms.

Stra said a change in rider and tactics played a big part in the win.

“I thought we could get a place but this is a big thrill,’’ Stra said.

“Changing things up a bit and having the horse a bit closer in the run was a key.

“The horse has a big heart and big lungs and being closer in the run was able to hook out and win.

“Karl rides really well and did what we asked. I am not sure what we do from here, maybe a Lightning (Stakes) later in the year.’’

Have a look at those numbers 🤯

De Thorn wins with Karl Zechner in the saddle ✅ pic.twitter.com/Wr5WoVw3eZ

Stra also broke a long run of outs as a trainer – Natural Disaster was his last winner at a metro track in January 2014.

Stra, who also trains the prolific maiden placegetter Sellix, trained his most recent winner, Dexstra, at Murray Bridge in November 2019.

Maha ($2.35) confirmed her promise and the confidence of the Tony and Calvin McEvoy stable with a convincing victory in a two-metro-wins-last-year race over 1100m.

Leading throughout Maha, ridden by Barend Vorster, enjoyed the drop in class to account for Extreme Thrill and Extra Mile.

Jockey Kayla Crowther continued her amazing run with a winner at 12 of her past 13 meetings when she chalked up a double – steering Flying Pierro ($26) to victory in a 1500m Benchmark 76 and Jaamint ($5) in a Benchmark 60, also over 1500m.

Jess Eaton (It’s Kind of Magic and Taunting) and Paul Gatt (Mutinous and Mahis Angel) also recorded doubles.

Gatt’s win on Mahis Angel finally ended Not So Glorious’ unbeaten run in Australia, the Travis Doudle stable providing the quinella and a double on the day.

■ Former star apprentice Gary Lo will soon resume riding in South Australia after spending the past year in his homeland Hong Kong.

Lo, 22, who was based in Adelaide between 2017 and 2020, chalked up 66 winners – many of those for trainer Philip Stokes. Lo, who will resume his apprenticeship with the Stokes team and the SA Apprentice Academy, is expected to make his track comeback in August.

Originally published asShock $151 winner ends trainer’s long runs of outs

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