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Siege Of Quebec runs deceptively quick sectionals in his reluctant Rosehill win

Ken Boman | 02.02.2018

Randwick Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) prospect Siege Of Quebec (Fastnet Rock) was looking far from a Group One contender at the home turn at Rosehill on Saturday – but he eventually delivered a long neck victory nearing the post, by producing deceptively quick sectional times.

Starting $1.50 favourite, the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained colt was under strong riding by Brenton Avdulla on passing the 600 metres, much to the dismay of his supporters, before recording a first-up win in the Wilkes Quality (1100m).

The Godolphin-owned colt Kennedy (Exceed And Excel) ran a bold race in the lead and when he lifted the tempo at the 600 metres, Siege Of Quebec was left flat-footed before he finally overhauled his rival to score his third win from four starts to date.

An examination of times revealed that Kennedy had sprinted quickly when he reached the 600 metre point and that resulted in Siege Of Quebec needing to dig deep to stay in touch, and as Avdulla subsequently explained: “It’s like driving a car with the hand brake on, he is so casual and lazy.”

The reluctant performer then showed on the clock what he is capable of running.

Timed from the 600 metres, Siege Of Quebec ran 200 metre sections of: 11.19, 10.80 (400m in 21.99) with his final 200 metres in 11.36 to give the colt a final 600 metres in a fast 33.35.

“It takes him a while to get focused,” said co-trainer Adrian Bott. “He looks beaten but that is because he is such a laidback horse –  his class shone through in the end.”

It was Siege Of Quebec’s first start since finishing second to the talented colt Menari (Snitzel) in The Rosebud (Listed, 1100m) at Rosehill on 12 August, so he is sure to take improvement as he heads to his Group One mission at Randwick on 10 March.

In the opening race at Rosehill, the Nick Olive-trained and Kathy O’Hara-ridden filly Sizzling Belle (Sizzling) staged a game on-pace effort before fighting back for a narrow but good victory in the two-year-old plate (1100m).

It was Sizzling Belle’s second win in as many starts and she is clearly a talented filly with a good future but On The Watch was particularly taken by the effort of the runner-up Outrageous (All Too Hard).

That Team Hawkes-trained colt was resuming after his debut seventh in the Breeders’ Plate (Listed, 1000m) at Randwick in September and he produced strong closing sectionals in finishing on from the tail of the field for a close second.

Outrageous was timed to run his final 1000 metres in 56.89, last 800 metres in 45.84, last 600 metres in 33.98 with his final 400 metres in 22.35 – quick times.

He was slowly away and after being second last in the eight-horse field at the home turn, Outrageous finally got a split at the 200 metres and came with a strong late run, failing by only a half head for victory.

Outrageous should appreciate a more truly run race and an increase in distance and looks a colt with a good future.

Meanwhile, at Caulfield on Saturday, juveniles were the main topic of conversation with the running of the first of the lead-up races to the Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m).

In the Blue Diamond Preview (C&G) (Listed, 1000m), the Lindsay Park-trained and Coolmore-raced colt Long Leaf (Fastnet Rock) scored a good first-up win and remains unbeaten after three starts.

After being a handy fourth, Long Leaf got through at the home turn, took the lead halfway down the straight before fighting back to comfortably hold off the Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra-trained colt Ollivander (Charge Forward) to score by a half-length in a time of 57.70.

Long Leaf produced very smart closing sectionals with his last 800 metres 44.37, last 600 metres in 33.91, last 400 metres in 22.93 with his final 200 metres in 11.83.

The runner-up Ollivander, who had been ridden quietly from his outside barrier and was then badly checked at the home turn after coming from back in the field, returned marginally better sectionals.

Ollivander was timed to run his last 800 metres in 44.28, last 600 metres in 33.77, last 400 metres in 22.81 with his final 200 metres in 11.75.

Both colts head to the Blue Diamond Stakes in three weeks’ time with sound claims.

In the other lead-up race, the Blue Diamond Preview (Fillies) (Gr 3, 1000m) success in a well-contested finish went to the Greg Eurell-trained filly Lady Horseowner (Equiano) in a time of 57.85, which was 0.85 seconds slower than the 57.70 recorded in the colts’ division.

Lady Horseowner is now unbeaten after two starts following her debut win in a two-year-old fillies’ plate (1000m) at Moonee Valley on 8 December.

She was ridden off the pace on this occasion by Nikita Beriman and after settling in seventh place, Lady Horseowner got through from the 200 metres and then finished too well to score by a neck from Crossing The Abbey (Helmet) with Oohood (I Am Invincible) a head way in third.

The Lindsay Park-trained filly Downloads (Fastnet Rock) was racing on debut and she caught the eye in running on late for fourth with the favourite Pure Elation (I Am Invincible) fifth – those two fillies finishing less than a length off the winner.

Sectional time highlights from the race were:

Lady Horseowner was timed to run her final 800 metres in 44.53, last 600 metres in 34.20, last 400 metres in 22.97 with her final 200 metres in 11.70.

Oohood, who came with strong late run from ninth at the home turn, was timed to run her final 800 metres in 44.50, last 600 metres in 34.05, last 400 metres in 22.65 with her final 200 metres in 11.63.

But the fastest closing times were recorded by Downloads, who was clocked to run her final 800 metres in 44.24, last 600 metres in 33.79, last 400 metres in 22.65 with her final 200 metres in 11.66.

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