Monday, 25 June 2012
: The unknown devil is often worse than the known one and despite having the horse with form for the Open Class for two year-olds, Theo Kieser would have been wondering as to which of the unknown quantities in the field were likely to trouble his charge, Yin Jie most of all.Holy Empire
was one that had trialled well and considering that he was receiving weight from Yin Jie
could bring him in with a chance. What would have however provided Theo Kieser with comfort was that the horse that Yin Jie had beaten on debut had gone on to win the Group Two Aushorse Golden Horsehoe on the Singapore Airlines International Cup Weekend.
In the parade ring, Yin Jie looked the part and walked around nicely and relaxed. In contrast, Holy Empire, also an entire like Yin Jie, was having his moments. Just as John Powell was getting a 'leg-up', Holy Empire lashed out, catching Powell on the foot. With Powell down on the ground, Barend Vorster was called in to step up to the plate so to speak.
Out of the gates, it was Golden Sand Steed
who darted out to the lead. Yin Jie from barrier number ten raced up alongside but with the early pace on, was obliged to travel three horses wide. Vorster meanwhile was giving Holy Empire an education on the rails with some cover, in fourth.
On straightening up, Golden Sand Steed was still travelling well even as Moriera slapped the favourite down his shoulder to get him to find more. Vorster was working on Holy Empire but it wasn't till he pulled the grey off the rails that he found the response he was looking for. It was over in a matter of strides as Holy Empire picked off Golden Sand Steed and held-off a strong-finishing Yin Jie who would have to be satisfied with third place tonight.
It's always exciting to have a two year-old win on debut and Shane Baertschiger's face was alight.
“I bought him as a yearling in Melbourne and he had trialed well. I was expecting a strong performance and I'll target him to the Magic Millions race next,” he said.
Reacting to the incident in the parade ring, Baertschiger noted, “Fortunately John's fine. He'll miss the rest of tonight's card but hasn't broken anything. As far as Holy Empire goes, he's young and he'll stay entire,” he ended when asked if he would be looking to snip the winner before his next start.
Vorster who rode his second straight winner was apologetic but elated.
“What can I say? You get these rides and I am really sorry for Johnny. Shane gets his horses really well prepared and I just got my horse to stay in touch and interested in the race. Despite running green he got his head down low in the last 200 metres to really accelerate. He's a very nice specimen and will prefer it further.”
In fact, a cursory look at Holy Empire's pedigree suggests exactly that. His sire Holy Roman Emperor
was top sprinter-miler but does nick with certain stamina sires to provide pure middle distance performers.
The favourite will return to the stable and to the drawing board. Kieser said that Yin Jie would probably need a set of blinkers as the feedback he got from Moreira was that the horse was just giving about eighty percent of his best.