Trip to Sandown pays off for Matthew Dale

By: Craig Brennan Wednesday 21 August 2019

Canberra trainer Matthew Dale made the trip to Sandown with two horses and almost came away with a perfect result.

Victory by Shangani Patrol in the Long Fine Plate on Wednesday was spoilt by the long neck defeat of Perfect Rhyme in The Big Screen Company Handicap earlier in the program.

"They weren't world-beaters that we brought down but they try hard and placed in their right races they can be hard to beat," Dale said.

Dale is seldom far from the winners' circle when travelling to Melbourne and said he could plan more visits for future midweek meetings.

"We generally look for the Saturday races to make it a viable option prize money-wise," Dale said.

"This was the case of it was the perfect race for Perfect Rhyme while Shangani Patrol missed a race in Sydney last week when an emergency and he needed a race and this was the right option.

"We will look to target the midweeks a little bit more, but its got to be the right race because it costs a fair bit of money and logistics to get them down here."

Dale praised jockey Ben Melham for his ride on Shangani Patrol when successful by a short head.

"You can sometimes come to a midweek meeting and have the bigger name Sydney or Melbourne jockeys and sometimes they haven't done their form," Dale said.

"Benny had done all his form. He knew the horse as well as I do and I didn't have to tell him anything.

"The conditions were perfect for him today, but I would have loved to have seen it a bit wetter for Perfect Rhyme.

"She's still finished a creditable second, so it's been a good day all round."