“Josie Leutton is a real acquisition for the WA racing industry.”  That was how Lima Racing Syndicate manager, Harvey Crossman, described the Ascot veterinary surgeon after Castle Retreat had won the Westspeed 3YO Handicap (1100m) on November 29.

Crossman, who is also the Vice Chairman of Perth Racing, was referring to the fact that the Oratorio-Clarecastle youngster seemed to have little future in February this year.

“He was chronically short of breath and needed tie-back (air way) surgery if he was going to be a long term racing prospect. Since undergoing that successful operation the results speak for themselves,” Crossman said.

Leutton’s skill has ensured that Castle Retreat has now won four times from 14 starts. Crossman said Clarecastle, a successful grey mare on the track, was proving to be a fine dam. “Both of her foals (Chinetti is the other one) have been good winners.”. (Clarecastle had four wins, four seconds and four thirds in 30 starts. The daughter of Tribu may well head East for her next service).

Trainer Paul Jordan was happy for apprentice Chris Parnham to either lead or take the sit and the leading apprentice was content to snooker Castle Retreat, on the rails, behind the leader, Mamaroochy.

Castle Retreat came off the rails on the turn and then showed fight to hold off the challenge from Star Glitter (Brad Parnham) with Fuld’s Bet (Jerry Noske) third.

It was the first leg of a winning double for the youngest Parnham as he later won on He Or She.   In  the process he has taken the lead in the leading apprentice award over Lucy Warwick who resumed racing after a 19 day suspension. Ironically his lead may be short-lived as the stewards ‘arranged ‘ a 12 day ‘holiday’ for causing interference on the turn when he won with Castle Retreat. Lucy Warwick, resuming, almost won the last in a three way go.

However Western Blaze (Jason Whiting) just prevailed over her mount, Uncle George, with Fashion Princess (William Pike) in third place. Expect Warwick to be in front again by the time Parnham the Younger returns.

In the fourth race, over 2200m, a keen battle between Black Royale  Lucas Camilleri) and Ain’t Bad (Troy Turner) saw the former take the honours.

Black Royale a four year was having only his fifth race start and trainer Gino Poletti’s patience has been rewarded when he just nosed out his rival. The win narrowly prevented a double for trainer Colin Webster who won the first  race with Settlers Creek.