Alta Maestro game in defeat in defeat in Yearling Sales pace
Smart colt Alta Maestro made his Addington debut on Friday in the Yearling Sales pace for the two year olds. After leading throughout, he was bombed late in the piece by The Devils Own, but will have lost no followers, game as he was in defeat.
Having drawn well, Alta Maestro was able to find the early lead for driver Dexter Dunn, but soon faced pressure, including from second favourite Spankem who occupied the parked position from the 1300m.
Having run his first half in a slick 56.8, there was no backing off down the back the last time either, with a 28.1 quarter seeing most, including Spankem under pressure from the 400m. As the field turned for home, it appeared that Alta Maestro was travelling as well as any, with only the trailling Aloka looking like lodging any reasonable challenge. However, when that runner went into a break inside the 200m, it opened the door for The Devils Own that had trailled three back and had looked unlikely to get a run. Instead he burst up the passing lane for driver Natalie Rasmussen, taking the lead inside the last 50m, before going on to a narrow neck victory. A final quarter run in 27.4 seconds rounded out a 1.52.4 mile rate.
While disappointed with the defeat trainer Robert Dunn was full of praise for his charge.
"Incredible isn't it to run that time and to still get beat. Its a tough game at times."
Driver Dexter was also philosophical about the defeat.
"He's done everything that you could expect him to do and yet he still gets beaten. If Blair's one hadn't broken, then the other one wouldn't probably have got through, but that's racing isn't it."
Fast forward one week and a number of these colts and gelding will again go around in this week's Group One Sires Stakes final. You would expect that Alta Maestro will only improve with the run and the key like any of these big races is to now get a good draw. Connections are really pleased with how he has come through Friday night's race and look forward to this Friday.
While Friday was a winless one for the stable, three good second placings proved a satisfactory return. The highlight of the other performances was Franco Nelson's second behind Heaven Rocks in the first race.
Sent forward early, Franco Nelson was then happy to relinquish his early lead as the hotpot Heaven Rocks came around for a look. Thereafter he trailled throughout. Out of the trail turning for home he did all that he could to run down the pacemaker, but with the final half and quarter run in 54.2 seconds and 26 seconds respectively, it was a forlorn chase and he came up three quarters of a length short, but nearly three lengths ahead of the third placed Classie Brigade.
The very consistent Crackamoa came up just a nose short in the last of the night, continuing a great run of form.
Posted: Mon 15 May 2017