Brooklyn Hustle clocks fast times in impressive debut performance at Moonee Valley
She settled at the tail of the 11-horse field before Beau Mertens steered her along the inner rounding the home turn, going to fourth on straightening up and then finished brilliantly to take out the Two-Year-Old Plate (1000m) by two lengths in a time of 58.79.
Her 200 metre breakdown (from the 800m) was: 11.02, 11.14, 11.06 and 10.96 which gave Brooklyn Hustle a last 800 metre time of 44.18, last 600 metres in 33.16 and 22.02 for her final 400 metres – fast times.
But especially noteworthy was Brooklyn Hustle’s last 200 metres in 10.96 – it is rare to see that final section breaking 11 seconds, plus she did that seemingly with something in hand at the post.
In the previous race, the progressive David Jolly-trained gelding Behemoth (All Too Hard) took the eye with his easy win in the Benchmark 70, Three-Year-Old Handicap (1200m), also returning fast closing sectionals.
Having his first run outside of South Australia where he was a first-up winner of a Morphettville Three-Year-Old Maiden, C&G (1050m) at his third start on November 6, Behemoth settled in fifth place, one off the rails, before racing away in the straight to score by three and half-lengths.
The time for the 1200 metre journey was a smart 1:10.28 but it was his sectionals that really impressed.
Behemoth’s 200 metre breakdown (from the 1000m) was: 10.92, 11.29, 11.22, 11.04 and 11.23 which saw him clock 55.70 for his last 1000 metres, 44.78 (last 800m), 33.49 (last 600m) and 22.27 for his final 400 metres.
Impressive sectionals and he is a horse to watch.
It was a similar story at Rosehill on Saturday with the Godolphin-raced filly Athiri (Lonhro) staging a very smart debut effort in winning the Two-Year-Old Sprint (1100m), while the Team Hawkes-trained three-year-old Kapajack (Lonhro) showed his potential in also winning on debut.
After being ridden quietly from a wide barrier by Glyn Schofield, Athiri had settled in second last place in the eight-horse field before pushing into clear running in the straight and then winning easily by two lengths.
The time for the 1100 metre journey was 1:04.54 (11.73 200m rate), equivalent to 1200 metres in 1:10.40 with Athiri returning very smart closing sections.
Tracking a quick early tempo, Athiri was timed to run her last 1000 metres in a fast 55.81, last 800 metres in 44.84, last 600 metres in 33.75, last 400 metres in 22.44 with her final 200 metres in 11.37.
In the following race, Kapajack did very well in winning the Benchmark 78, Three and Four-Year-Old Sprint (1100m) after patient handling by the Hawkes team.
Kapajack was having his first race start, but the gelding had been well educated, having had five barrier trials during the year, this now being his third preparation.
After settling in seventh place, Kapajack showed quality and determination over the closing stages to defeat the former Tasmanian-trained four-year-old Mister Songman (Your Song), a winner of four of his seven prior starts, by a short head.
The time for the 1100 metre distance was 1:03.49 (11.54 200m rate), equivalent to 1200 metres in 1:09.26.
Kapajack’s closing sectionals were very smart, his last 1000 metres in 55.09, last 800 metres in 44.34, last 600 metres in 33.05, last 400 metres in 21.74 with his final 200 metres in 11.05.
The runner-up Mister Songman also impressed at his first start for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, clocking 55.28 (last 1000m), 44.68 (last 800m), 33.41 (last 600m) 22.16 (last 400m) with his final 200 metres in 11.25.
Another Tulloch Lodge-trained runner at the meeting, the talented filly Invincible Star (I Am Invincible), also impressed on the watch in scoring her first win in six starts this preparation when taking out the Starlight Stakes (Listed, 1100m).
Showing her customary pace to lead, Invincible Star was then pressured in front and she demonstrated her quality in fighting back determinedly to score by a short head from Godolphin’s Badajoz (Commands) in a time of 1:03.55 (11.55 200m rate), equivalent to 1200 metres in 1:09.32.
Invincible Star’s gutsy on-pace performance was demonstrated by her 200 metre sectional breakdown (from the 1000m): 10.72, 11.12 (400m in 21.84), 10.89 (600m in 32.73), 11.10 (800m in 43.83) and 11.57 to give her a fast final 1000 metres in 55.40.
Two other runners in particular that caught the eye was the first-up effort of the (61kg) top weight Deploy (Fastnet Rock) who fought gamely for fourth, beaten just under a half-length, clocking 55.48 for his last 1000 metres.
The other to impress was the favourite, the Godolphin-raced Marsupial (Street Cry) who made late ground in finishing (1.2 lengths) sixth, clocking his last 1000 metres in a fast 55.08.
Meanwhile, the feature race last Saturday was the Winterbottom Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) at Ascot where the Darren Weir-trained/Damien Oliver-ridden gelding Voodoo Lad (I Am Invincible) came off a quick tempo before finishing fast from the tail of the 14-horse field to score.
Twice runner-up in Group 1 contests, it was Voodoo Lad’s first success at the elite level and the seven-year-old’s 13th win (with 11 placings) from 33 starts.
The time for the 1200 metre journey was 1:10.24 in a race that saw a very quick mid-race tempo established by the leader Belter (Denman) who ran the 800 metres (from the 1000m to the 200m) in a fast 45.46, before fading to finish second last.
That played into the hands of Damien Oliver, a great judge of pace, and Voodoo Lad whose race style is best suited when reserved for a late burst.
And Voodoo Lad duly obliged, returning a fast 1000 metres in 56.36, last 800 metres in 45.60, last 600 metres in 34.82, last 400 metres in 23.04 with his final 200 metres in 11.38.
He actually finished so quickly that Voodoo Lad won by almost a length at the post with the top WA-trained mare Enticing Star (Testa Rossa), a winner of eight of her nine previous career-starts, in second place.
Malaguerra (Magnus) was a close-up third after running a bold race, with another Victorian-trained runner I’ll Have A Bit (Smart Missile) a late-closing fourth in another smart effort from the talented mare, clocking a quick 56.86 (last 1000m) in coming from 11th at the home turn.