Headquarters served up what can only be described as a punting graveyard for most on the weekend, with most winners being long priced and un-wanted in the betting: Winners SP’s were $13.80, $10.90, $127.60, $10.60, $7.40, $3.10 (massive drifter late), $20.80, $33.40 and $34.40. In saying this, the track didn’t seem heavily biased, the inside was perhaps slightly better.
Our black booker hopefully provided some much-needed relief for a few when the old marvel Extra Zero got the cash at $33.40 in the 8th event, at his 100th start. Some things were just meant to be. On the other end of the spectrum, our other black booker Steggler who ran a disappointing 8th after getting the drifts out to $10 late in the piece.
With a transition period into genuine winter racing coming up over the next few meetings, it will be interesting to see how this form plays out and how the market will react to many supposed upsets. Attack with caution.
LLOYD WILLIAMS SELECTION– GRANDDUKEOFTUSCANY: On a day with a race named in honour of the prolific owner, it is somewhat fitting that one of his goes into our black book. The well-bred son of Galileo (almost synonymous with the Williams yard) did good work late to finish a 2.7L 5th.
After running in the G1 St Ledger in the UK, his Australian form has been somewhat disappointing. Having only managed 1 win in a B<70 at Morphettville. However, this first up run does suggest the now six-year-old might be in for a good preparation.
Settling well back, third last, in a field strung out by leader Zahspeed he struggled to find open air at any time down the straight having to weave a passage through those going backwards. His final 200m was run in 11.77s under only hands and heels. Watch out over longer.
Where to next? BM85: 2000-2400m
DEBUT SELECTION– GRUNT: Sent out as a $26 chance for Mick Price on his debut, the son of O’Reilly acquitted himself very well despite doing plenty wrong. He should be breaking his maiden very soon, especially this time of the season.
After jumping very slowly (1-2L behind), he had to settle at the tail of the field some 9L off the pace. The trouble didn’t stop there either, copping s bump around the 800m mark when trying to improve his position.
Eventually he got clear running, when switched to the outside at the 300m mark and unleashed with the fastest last 200m split (11.46s) of the race to finish 3rd, only 1.05L off the winner.
Being by O’Reilly, he may get the 1600m this early in his career, but I would like to see him jump better over the 1400m and steam home for a victory first.
Where to next? 2YO 1400m