3 minute read
“Jean Van Overmeire pulls off the perfect ride on the hot favourite.”
Those words were used by race caller Darren Flindell when the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott trained Cross Talk bolted in winning the Listed Winter Challenge Stakes (1500m).
Punter's Intelligence data supports the visual/tactical brilliance of the hoop after breaking down the sectional splits.
The gelding was ridden with the intent to lead early and then controlled the pace at an even tempo running a split of 24.29 between the 1000m-600m. Additionally, Jean Van Overmeire used the galloper's lightweight to his advantage, sprinting his final 600m sectional in 35.71.
The much-anticipated return of Gold Trip was worth the wait after an impressive first-up performance over an unsuitable distance.
He had to lump 61kg and got too far back in transit. Further, he was slightly checked/blocked, and had to make his run through the inferior ground but still ran one of the fastest final 600m splits of the meeting in 34.97.
The Ciaron Maher & David Eustace trained runner has elite Group 1 WFA overseas form lines and expect him to be a force to be reckoned with as his fitness improves and gets over further distance.
Toomuchtobear was honest into second place and looks set to peak third-up. Oscar Zulu continued to run well this prep and ran the race quickest 400m-200m split in 11.47.
The well-backed Shades Of Rose showed her true ability in the NSWROA Trophy (1100m) and was a dominant winner.
She sat outside leader Twilight Affair in a fast tempo, with the first 500m being run in 30.06, which was approximately 4 lengths faster than the Precise Air Handicap (1100m) and 5.5-6 lengths quicker than the Bill Picken Oam Handicap (1100m).
The filly sprinted away from her rivals and maintained a strong finishing speed to the line running the race's fastest final 200m sectional in 12.26, confirming a step up in distance will be no issue next start.
In addition, this race rated highly relative to the day even after adjusting for age, class, track condition and additional factors.
The 2YO Handicap (1100m) was one of the day's more intriguing races, and there were some key sectional performers.
Winner Troach who has come back improved, led all the way running strong sustained sectionals throughout and appreciated getting onto a firmer surface.
Her overall time was slightly slower than Shades Of Rose but approximately 2-2.5 lengths faster than the later 1100m event, as previously referenced, won by Easy Single.
Opal Ridge was extraordinarily unlucky and should've been fighting out the finish. The Luke Pepper trained galloper was blocked for most of the straight, but once she got out, she ran one of the fastest last 200m sectionals of the meeting in 11.42 and savaged the line. Follow her.
Waverider Buoy, another nice type, raced wide and sprinted the equal races quickest 400m-200m split in 11.28 before the tough run told over the final furlong. Her run was full of merit.
King's Trust is ready to win another TAB Highway after being unsuited in a slow tempo but still sizzled home into third running his final 400m split in 23.00.
Other runners to note are Lovely Esteem who is ready to peak and Dr Evil was fantastic with the pace/bias against him in the BM 78 Handicap (1800m).
Fastest last 600m: Enchanted Heart 34.31