The rundown from premier day at Alex Park
The stable were represented with 3 runners on Premier Day at Auckland. Both Return To Sender and Elios performed with distinction, while Franco Nelson cruelly had his chances extinguished by a breaking Easy On The Eye.
Return To Sender met a good field of 3yr olds in Race 4 over the 2200m. After easing off the gate he settled towards the rear. He was launched by Johnny from the 600m and made a wide searching run to be up on the speed turning in. On a day when there was an obvious leaders bias, he did well to stick on for 4th placing just 2 lengths from winner Aldo Rossi.
Elios was able to lead easily off the gate and dominated from the front in his race. It was brother Dexter, driving Mighty Flying Mac for Cran Dalgety that managed to sweep through from a good trail to nut Elios close to the line, the margin a close 1/2 neck. Both runners look sure to progress through the classes on their recent runs.
Elios a close 2nd behind the Dexter Dunn driven Mighty Flying Mac
Franco Nelson looked the best chance for the day in the Manukau Summer Cup. After enjoying a good run 3 back in the small field, Franco Nelson suffered a severe check at the 400m as the pacemaker Easy On The Eye broke, ending the chances of both. He looked to be travelling super at the time.
Earlier in the day John's drive in the fillies Sires Stakes final, Venus Serena had her chances from a tricky barrier made even harder with a severe check after 200m. She was relegated to a rearward position on a hot pace. John tried to improve 3 wide from the 1000m but was posted wide. The champion filly never stopped trying though and ground home out wide for 6th in 2.41.2 for the 2200m mobile.
Venus Serena an unlucky 6th in the Sires Stakes fillies final for Johnny
In the day's feature the Sales Series final, Dexter took the drive on hot favourite Locharburn. After being beaten out of the gate by the Mark Purdon pair of Alleluia and Isaiah, he then had to sit parked for 800m, before receiving the 1-1 from the 1300m. The speed went on from the 600m and Dexter tracked an improving Sky Major. However, his home turn issues meant that he was to again "lose his way," on the bend. To power home as he did into 2nd position suggests that come derby time, they will again be the combination to be most weary of.
Posted: Wed 01 Jan 2014