Regional Championships producing special moments

Far Out Bro.

Far Out Bro.

There was a touch of divine intervention surrounding the win of Far Out Bro in last Friday night’s Group 1 Hunter TAB Regional Championships Final following the passing of part owner Tony Xerri only days prior to the feature race.

Xerri, who has been a prominent figure in harness racing as an owner, overseeing the Sloys Company operation alongside his son Darren, has for more than three decades raced many talented pacers along the eastern seaboard.

Far Out Bro who is trained at Sawyers Gully by Adam Ruggari and was driven on Friday night by Jack Callaghan, went out as a solid favourite for the $100,000 event and overcame a barrier ten draw to win by a widening seventeen metre margin, defeating the Geoff Dorn trained pair, Sergei, and Oleg.

And while it was Ruggari’s first Group 1 training success, young Callaghan celebrated his second win in the race, having taken out the inaugural staging in 2020 when driving Kayne Crusader. 

“It was a great thrill for me to train my first Group 1 winner,” said Ruggari. 

“I drove New York Fashion to win a Sire Stakes Final in 2009 for my grandfather Barry Matterson and I enjoyed this victory just as much watching from the grandstand.”

“It was quite emotional after the win as Jack wore the Xerri racing silks. Tony and his family have been great supporters of mine, so it was incredibly special to deliver this win in Tony’s memory for his family.”

“Memories of my late grandfather Barry also came flooding back to me. Without his mentoring and support, I could not have achieved what I have as a trainer, and I know how proud he would be of me.”

Friday afternoon produced another Group 1 first in the Riverina TAB Riverina Championships Final when leading southern reinsman Jackson Painting scored aboard Rocknroll Runa. 

Painting combined with his uncle David Kennedy to produce Rocknroll Runa for an emphatic win at Wagga. 

“Rocknroll Runa went super on Friday,” an excited Painting said.

“The horse travelled perfectly for me in front and when I asked him to extend, he found another  gear, racing clear of his opposition.”

“He rated a quick 1.54.2 over the longer journey and scored by almost seven metres. It is not easy to run those times from the front end at Wagga and still get home.”


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