Cup next target for rejuvenated Alta Orlando
It may have only been a five horse field on a cold Christchurch winter night, but one could not help but be impressed by the stunning display of Alta Orlando last night at Addington. The backmarker off 30m over the two mile journey he gave all runners a start and a beating, running past Messenger winner Eamon Maguire in the last 50m to record a very quick 3.56.1 for the 3200m trip.
The winner of four of his previous six starts through the autumn, Alta Orlando was almost let go by punters last evening as they opted to put out Eamon Maguire as favourite and Taylor Mile winner A G's White Socks as second favourite. For backers of Eamon Maguire they would no doubt have been very happy as he stepped well to lead and looked to lead a procession after a first mile run in a sedate 2.03.
It was only really from the 800m that things started to get really serious as Eamon Maguire started to up the pace. It was Ricky May on second favourite A G's White Socks that made the first move, with John straight on his back with Alta Orlando. A 28 second quarter down the back had the chasing runners really stretched and favourite backers must have been smiling at the 300m. However, it was at this point that John asked the Courage Under Fire six year old for his best effort and he set off charging after the leader. Still two lengths in deficit at the 200m, he kept coming under a strong drive, levelling up at the 50m, before edging away at the line for a half neck victory.
His fifth win from his last seven starts, the reemergence of Alta Orlando at the top level has been quite incredible to see. In his current form and with the new season beckoning he must be considered a serious prospect come the second Tuesday in November. Coming from the back last night, he cut out his last mile in 1.53.4. He is mixing toughness with his huge speed that he always possessed. He is clearly a happy horse and doing a great job for all his connections.
Stablemate Billy Badger did a good job also beaten just three lengths and he now heads north for the jewels. He too continues to race in career best form.
Overall it was a really good night for the stable. Kensington Kate continued a good run of placed form running a close second behind Extreme Stride in the first. A race later and it was a more encouraging run from Bonnie Highlander. After a number of misses, she hit the line well for thurd at good odds.
Two year old trotter You Really Got Me was no match for the very smart Enhance Your Calm and Oscar Bonavena that fought out the Sires Stakes for the two year olds, but was a clear third and carries on now to the jewels.
As good as the win of Alta Orlando was, you could not help but be impressed by the run and grit of Heisenberg in the Sires Stakes final for the two year old pacers. Back from his wide draw, he was sent forward with purpose by John from the 800m. Up attacking leader Another Masterpiece from the 600m, he was right there and still travelling as the field turned for home. It was only in the last 100m, that he relinguished a placing as those with softer runs edged past. To be beaten just two lengths by leader Jesse Duke was a fantastic run and gave driver John plenty of encouragement as they head towards the jewels, only needing a good marble to be competitive.
Valloria was much better in the yearling sales trot for the three year old trotters running a close third, Alta Maestro was an encouraging second behind Hail Christian in the Sophomore Classic, while Hayden's Meddle closed out the night with another good run for third in the last.
Posted: Sat 19 May 2018