Unexpected leader turned the Victoria Derby into a stern test of stamina
Having not led in his prior 12 starts, the Lindsay Park-trained colt Seberate (Sebring) was an unexpected leader in Saturday’s Victoria Derby (Gr 1, 2500m).
Connections advised that the colt would be ridden more forward to overcome his outside barrier (16) and Seberate worked deep on the track before actually crossing to the front, his rider Cory Parish then elected to let the colt stride along.
His tactics then suddenly turned the race into a stern test of stamina and he established a big lead in the mid-stages.
Clocked from the 2400 metre point to the 1400 metres, Seberate ran that early 1000 metre section in 60.07 which certainly set the scene for a solid test with a strong pace being maintained until his early efforts told nearing the home turn and he faded to finish second last.
The tempo was also demonstrated by the time for the 2500 metre journey 2:34.31 (12.34 200m rate), which was only 1.31 seconds outside of the Flemington track record.
The first eight horses past the post all came from back in the field, those closest to the pace not figuring over the final stages with the winner Extra Brut (Domesday) showing his stamina in coming with a wide run from 14th at the 1000 metres to score by a length.
Runner-up Stars Of Carrum (Fiorente) battled gamely after coming from 12th at the 1000 metres with the third-placed Chapada (Bullet Train) coming from eighth at that point, looking somewhat unlucky after being held up at a vital stage in the straight.
The winner Extra Brut was impressive, further demonstrated by his sectional times, his 200 metre breakdown from the 1000 metres being 11.66, 11.53 (400m in 23.19), 11.41 (600m in 34.60), 11.64 (800m in 46.24) with his last 200 metres in 12.33 for a final 1000 metre time of 58.57.
The Coolmore Stud Stakes (registered as Ascot Vale Stakes) (Gr 1, 1200m) again saw a quality line-up for three-year-old sprinters with the lone filly in the field Sunlight (Zoustar) showing her class with a game win, her eighth from 12 starts.
Sunlight travelled kindly outside the leader Written By (Written Tycoon), got the better of that colt nearing the 100 metre and then fought back to beat Zousain (Zoustar) by a half-neck with Lean Mean Machine (Zoustar) a length away in third with Written By fourth.
Sectional times showed the leaders, from the barrier, clocked 23.45 (first 400m), 34.96 (first 600 metres), 46.33 (first 800m), 57.79 (first 1000m) with the 1200 metre journey being run in a fast 1:08.72.
The first four past the post all returned smart sectionals but surprisingly some of the fastest closing sectionals were recorded by the Godolphin-raced colt Encryption (Lonhro), who came from last in the ten-horse field to finish (2.4 lengths) fifth.
Encryption was timed to run his last 1000 metres in 56.85, last 800 metres in 45.05, last 600 metres in 33.24, last 400 metres in a fast 21.85 with his final 200 metres in an impressive 10.75.
In another of the features on Derby Day, a fast pace saw the Godolphin-raced, British-bred import Best Of Days (Azamour) record his first win at Group 1 in 14 starts in taking out the Kennedy Mile (registered as Cantala Stakes) (Gr 1, 1600m).
After having a good run from his inside barrier (1) in sixth place on the rails, Best Of Days finished well under his limit weight (52kg) to win by a half-length from a very game Le Romain (Hard Spun) in the fast time of 1:33.65, which was only 0.16 seconds outside of the course record.
The fast pace was set by the noted front-runner Perast (Snitzel) who worked from a wide barrier (15) to lead before clocking 58.56 for the first 1000 metres of the race.
In a day of quick times, some of the quickest sectionals were surprisingly recorded in the final race the Furphy Sprint (registered as Begonia Belle Stakes) (Gr 3, 1100m) by the Robbie Griffiths-trained mare Divine Quality (Sepoy), who scored a first up win at odds of $26.
Divine Quality settled in last place in the 16-horse field, tracking a quick tempo before switching deeper to make her bid on reaching the 600 metres.
She then sprinted quickly to hit the front at the 100 metres and went on to score impressively by just over three lengths from the top weight (59kg) Booker (Written Tycoon) in a time of 1:02.82 (11.42 200m rate), equivalent to 1200 metres in 1:08.53.
Divine Quality was clocked to run her last 1000 metres in a very fast 53.87, last 800 metres in 33.28, last 600 metres in 33.28, last 400 metres in 22.47 with her final 400 metres in 11.35.
The quick tempo was set by the fast mare Snitty Kitty (Snitzel) whose early 200 metre breakdown (from the 1000m to the 400m) really took the eye: 10.33, 10.60 (first 400m in 20.93) and 10.96 for 600 metre time of 31.89.
Snitty Kitty, who was having her third run this preparation, then faded and finished 11th.
However, the last word this week has been reserved for the promising Godolphin-raced colt Roheryn (Lonhro), who impressed in winning the Benchmark 76, Three-Year-Old (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday to remain unbeaten after two starts.
Roheryn became an ANZ Bloodstock News ‘Maiden Of The Week’ after winning a Three-Year-Old (C&G) Maiden (1100m) at Warwick Farm October 10 when racing on debut.
He went to another level at the weekend.
Ridden quietly, he raced in last place in the small five-horse field until the 400 metres before coming with a strong run to win effortlessly by four lengths in a time of 1:10.62.
But it was Roheryn’s closing sectionals that really endorsed the colt’s potential with his last 1000 metres clocking 55.96, his last 800 metres in 44.90, last 600 metres in 33.48 with his final 200 metres in 22.18.
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