Graduate Under Fire goes back-back with cup wins

Graduate Under Fire is  a seven year old now, but is racing at the top of his game and today he took out the Waikouaiti Cup, earning win nine in his 81 start career.

At his last start Graduate Under Fire shared victory in the Marlborough Cup with a stablemate in Joey Maguire after leading throughout the 3200m trip of that event. While clearly this was good credentials for today, especially when you factored in the grass track surface that he loves so much, there were only really two horses wanted on the tote in Tasman Bromac and Quick As A Trick. The 15-1 tote odds did look way overs and for those that were prepared to back outside the favourites, they would be duly rewarded.

As he usually does, Graduate Under Fire made a flyer from his frontline barrier and soon took up the early lead, a position that he would hold until the 2200m when John was happy to hand up to second favourite Quick As A Trick that came around with a serious inquiry for Dexter. Once that runner happened to get to the front, the race turned into somewhat of a procession as no-one seemed prepared to take the race to him. From about the 1200m, favourite Tasman Bromac rolled off the rail to start to get into the action and from the 800m, the pace increased appreciably. All the while, John and Graduate Under Fire were beautifully placed awaiting the passing lane. Turning for home and Tasman Bromac looked to take the race to Quick As A Trick and momentarily the two looked likely to fight the race out. However, as soon as John was able to get the passing lane, his charge unleashed with its run, going to Quick As A Trick at the 100m, before getting the best strides in as they headed to the line getting up to win by a neck in 4.18 for the 3200m trip, a time that seems rather pedestrian on what appeared a hot surface today. The final 800m in 57.6 and 400m in 29.2, made it very hard for any other runners to make ground from the back.

A horse that took until his 20th race start to register his maiden win, he has done a fantastic job for his owners Ray and Maureen Beale of Hilderthorpe. Ray and Maureen are wonderful people and have bred and races horses with a lot of success over many years. Others that they raced with success in the Robert Dunn stable include Fastroundtown and So Green. Without doubt though Graduate Under Fire has been a real favourite for the Beales and it was a real thrill that they were in attendance for today's cup. 

Graduate Under Fire (pictured at Motuakara last year) did a great job in winning today's Waikouaiti Cup

Today's win continues a great run since the New Year for Robert and John, the cup win taking their tally of wins to 56 for the season.

Two races later and the stable were again enjoying that winning way as dropback horse Music did a good job in getting up late to defeat pacemaker and second favourite Pat Campbell. Allowed to take his time early, Music was handily placed on the outer with a lap to go. When John noticed the pace slackening as they approached the 1000m he headed forward with the Lis Mara 5yr old ending up parked outside Pat Campbell that had also gone forward from the 700m. While Pat Campbell looked to have them all doing their best at the 400m, Music hung tough and kept coming after the filly. Under strong urgings from John he stuck to his task, taking the lead at the 50m and going on to win by half a length.

Good enough to run in Locharburn's derby at three, Music was recording win six from 55 starts today and took his stakes won to over $43,000 for owner Greg Brodie. He has done a nice job since joining the stable, today's win his third in just 13 starts.

Music recorded his third win in 13 starts for the stable in the last at Waikouaiti this afternoon

The win by Music now means that there is just one win separating the Purdon/Rasmussen team on 58 wins and the Robert Dunn team on 57 wins. There are a further six runners engaged at the Amberley meet tomorrow, with Callenberg and Cullect A Guinness likely to start favourites in their respective assignments.

Posted: Sun 07 Feb 2016