THE Thompson family have taken out their sixth Silver Chief after Out Of Range held off all challengers at The Meadows to win the first Group 1 event of 2018.
The son of Fernando Bale and Nicki Fields began cleanly off box one, driving through on the first corner to hold off Degani and Dyna Wazza as they reached the back straight. With Fast Car Driving and Degani looming large, the white and brindle chaser had to pull out all the stops to win the male-only aged restricted classic in 29.83, three quarters of a length over Degani and Fast Car Driving – two sons out of former No.1 American sire KC And All.
Out Of Range’s win gave owners Michael and Darren Puleio the biggest win of their careers, claiming the $100,000 first prize with a litter they bred. Their night started off very well, with litter brother Poke The Bear winning the night’s Free For All in 29.70 – an outstanding victory and time considering the white and fawn chaser was almost last out of the traps.
“It’s a bit of a relief to win this race to be honest,” said Darren, who paid tribute to the training efforts of the Thompson family.
“We really want to thank Seona and the team for their training efforts with Out Of Range and some others from the litter. They’ve reached some big heights with this litter and we couldn’t be more grateful.”
Out Of Range’s victory was his 10th from just 16 starts, pushing his prizemoney to $145,360.
The Thompson family first won the time-honoured event back in 1994 when Light Of Fire was victorious, going on to win four more in the last 12 years.
The red-letter night got even better minutes after the running of the Silver Chief with Aston Dee Bee winning a heat of the Group 2 Warragul Cup in a Best of Night 25.49.
Group racing returns to The Meadows next month, with the $1.2 million Australian Cup Carnival kicking off on February 17.