Show Day Review
The return to winning form of Alta Maestro was clearly the highlight for the stable on Show Day, but there were many supporting runs that had a lot of merit, including the run of Feel The Money for second in the Mares Feature.
Alta Maestro was one of the country's best two year olds and was a Sires Stakes heat winner against some of the best of his age at three. But over the last year, he has had to overcome a number of issues that for now look under control. While he had neither a trial or workout to prepare him for his resumption yesterday, the stable were very confident of a good run, based on his work at home.
After stepping well enough, Alta Maestro settled just off the the back of the field, with John in no rush to get him busy and chasing. With a lap to go he eased into a one out position on the back of favourite Funatthebeach. Still happy to sit as the leader Airpark Flyer took them down the back in a comfortable 30.4 second quarter, John waited until the 200m before asking the son of Art Major to show the speed that he has always possessed. The response was instant as he quickly put paid to both Funnathebeach and Bettor Be Gold, going away at the line by a length in 3.14.6 for the 2600m.
"He was always travelling," said John immediately after the race.
"He wanted to get trucking earlier, but I knew if I held him up long enough that he would do them for speed."
Now the winner of seven races, Alta Maestro may yet have the chance to tackle some of the best of his age in the big four year old goes later in the season. For now though, it is just great to see him back and justifying the belief that Robert and John have always had in him.
Tuapeka Trick took on a smart field in Race Two and after needing the run on cup day really impressed John with his run for 5th.
"He really wanted to be there today and I was having trouble pulling him up at the line, which is always a really good sign moving forward."
Tuapeka Trick got pushed back down the back the last time and by the time John was able to navigate a run on the inside the leaders had gone. He has run some really nice sectionals and should be in for a good campaign.
Sundees Son is proving a bit of a heartbreak horse at the moment. He blew a certain win when breaking on Cup Day and after looking like running first or second again yesterday, again lost his gait at a crucial time.
"He was a lot better on the corners today," said John.
"He was running out in the straights today though, so he's definitely a work in progress."
After holding onto 4th Sundees Son was later disqualified for galloping too far.
Huey Lewis took on the Show Day Futurity in Race Five. Well placed early, he got relegated out the back past the 600m. When able to find some clear air in the straight, he got home with real purpose to run 5th. He should be tough to roll back in his own grade next time.
Henry Hubert took on a small but select field over the 1980m. He rolled forward from a four back position at the 1000m to go to a parked position. He applied some pressure to leader Ashley Locaz down the back and the two then got really serious from the 400m. After matching motors turning in, Henry Hubert dug deep over the last 200m, but missed out to the Purdon/Rasmussen trio headed by Elle Mac (a late swooper), Ashley Locaz and All You Need Is Faith (trail).
Woodstone always had it all ahead of him in the Dominion Handicap, but made things harder again when bobbling away early and settling a clear last. He was still well back when copping a bit of a squeeze and breaking at the 400m.
"He was definitely still travelling at the time and did feel good in the running," said John.
The race was won by Marcoola that produced one of the most stunning displays ever to win the Dominion by four lengths signalling his reemergence to the top of the New Zealand trotting ranks.
Feel The Money did her very best to deliver for the big band of oweners in Race Ten the Southern Mares Classic. She had enjoyed a nice run the trip, but when the swoopers began to emerge, she was off. After joining in three wide outside Queen Be Bardon and Bettor's Heart from the 400m, she surged to the front on turning in. After looking the winner at the 150m, it was Mossdale Rose that had come off her back that finished too well, taking victory by a neck in a stirring finish.
Feel The Money continues to make huge progress and is going to give her enthusiastic supporters a lot of fun this season.
Kensington Kate produced a nice run again, getting home for 4th, while Tyron Bettor's Ella tailed the field in after an early burn proved costly.
Letspendanitetogetha and Alta Orlando took in the Free-For-All for the pacers and from bad draws it was always going to be tough. In a race dominated from the top by Cruz Bromac, Letspendanitetogetha did a great job after settling four back on the inner to run home well for 6th, beaten just four lengths. For Alta Orlando, the job was too hard, but he ran home strongly as he always does. Cruz Bromac kicked much too well to hold the win from Turn It Up and Jack's Legend.
Johnny White completed the day in the last. After getting a nice track along for most of the race, he was dragged right back by the tiring pacemaker Stompem that stopped from the 400m.
So that completes another carnival. Two winners, two group one placings and a lot of fun had by all. Thanks to all of the staff for their tireless efforts through the week.
Posted: Sat 17 Nov 2018