On The Watch

Extreme Choice’s Headed For Stardom After Brilliant Moir Stakes Win

Ridden quietly by Craig Newitt from the outside barrier in the nine-horse field, Extreme Choice demonstrated his brilliant turn of foot in coming from second last place for an outstanding win over a field that included the best sprinters in the country.

Having only his fifth start, the colt overpowered his older rivals to win comfortably at the post to defeat the Group Twowinning sprinting mares Heatherly (Lonhro) and Wild Rain (Manhattan Rain), while the multiple Group One winners Chautauqua (Encosta De Lago) and Buffering (Mossman) finished in fourth and fifth respectively.

On a night where fast times were the exception on the Good 4 track, Extreme Choice clocked (from the 800 metre point) 200 metre sections of 10.73, 11.06 (400m in 21.79), 11.60 (600m in 33.39) with his final 200 metres in 11.44 for a brilliant last 800 metres of 44.83.

The Mick Price-trained colt has now raced five times for four wins and prize money earnings of $1,653,750, and it was his second victory at Group One level having won the Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) in February.

He now heads to the Coolmore Stud Stakes (registered as Ascot Vale Stakes) (Gr 1, 1200m) at Flemington on 29 October where he is likely to clash with Australia’s current highest rated sprinting colt Astern (Medaglia d’Oro).

Of the others in the Moir Stakes, naturally most attention was focused on the five-time Group One winner Chautauqua who was making his return after his sensational last-to-first victory in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize (Gr 1, 1200m) in Hong Kong in May.

After settling at the tail of the nine-horse field on Friday, Chautauqua was urged to improve by Dwayne Dunn from the 600 metres and after going very deep rounding the home turn he ran on well for fourth, beaten just over three lengths, without producing his trademark finishing dash.

And while visually a little disappointing, the now six-year-old’s sectional times confirmed that he is will still be a strong force in the feature Group One sprints this season.

Clocked from the 800 metres, Chautauqua returned 200 metre sections of 10.71, 10.97 (400m in 21.68), 11.61 (600m in 33.29) with his final 200 metres in 11.71, for a last 800 metre time of 45.00.

The following day at Randwick another three-year-old colt Russian Revolution (Snitzel) emerged as another of his age group with star quality in defeating Astern and Capitalist (Written Tycoon) in the Roman Consul Stakes (Gr 2, 1200m) at Randwick.

Taken to the front, Russian Revolution fought back gamely to score by a head from Astern, returning excellent sectional times in the process.

Russian Revolution clocking brilliant closing fractions of 10.91, 10.67 and 11.31, for a final 600 metres in 32.89 with his last 400 metres in a time of 21.89.

He too is now likely to head to the Coolmore Stud Stakes, adding further spice to an already exciting race.

Runner up Astern came from last in the sixhorse field and his sectional times were outstanding, with 200 metre fractions of 10.80, 10.41 and 11.08 for a final 600 metres in 32.29 with his final 200 metres in 21.49.

His Godolphin-raced stablemate Hauraki (Reset) then came out two races later to stage an amazing victory in the feature race, the Epsom Handicap (Gr 1, 1600m).

After settling a distant last, he was at least 15 lengths from the tearaway leader Fabrizio (High Chaparral) at the 1000 metre point and Hauraki was timed to run that final section in an outstanding 56.27, then clocking 44.44 (last 800 metres) 33.24 (last 600m) with his last 200 metres in 21.89 in scoring a head victory on the post.

The Randwick program had commenced with the first two-year-old races of the season and it set the scene for a day of fast times due to blustery conditions.

The Gimcrack Stakes (Listed, 1000m) was taken out by another Godolphin-raced runner with the smallish and unimposing two-year-old filly Jorda (Exceed And Excel) who won in a quick 57.53.

And whatever she lacked in appearance at this stage of her career, Jorda compensated with her outstanding turn of foot.

She had a good trip in fourth place, sprinted quickly to take the lead at the 200 metres and despite racing greenly, Jorda won comfortably by just under a length and was timed to run her last 600 metres in 33.62 and last 400 metres in 22.71.

In the Breeders’ Plate (Listed, 1000m), the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained colt Khan (Exceed And Excel) came from back in fifth place before producing an impressive finishing bust to win even more impressively, scoring comfortably by a length and a quarter in 57.43.

Khan returned slightly faster closing sectionals with his last 600 metres in 33.33 and last 400 metres in 22.53.

Then at Flemington on Sunday, the Shadwell-raced filly Madeenaty (Exceed And Excel) also made an impressive debut in winning Melbourne’s first two-year-old race of the season, the Maribyrnong Trial Stakes (Listed, 1000m) by two and a quarter lengths in a fast 56.59.

Also on a day where times were affected by windy conditions, Madeenaty returned exceptional sectionals with her final 600 metres clocking 32.63 and final 400 metres in 22.17.

In the feature race of the day at Flemington, Godolphin capped a great weekend with Hartnell (Authorized) making it three wins in succession in taking out the Turnbull Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m) in effortless fashion.

After enjoying a perfect trip in fifth place, due to a well-judged James McDonald ride, Hartnell moved up comfortably nearing the home turn and after taking the lead at the 300 metres, he raced away to score easily by three and a quarter lengths in a quick 2:01.03.

Visually impressive, Hartnell backed up with fast closing sectionals, clocking 45.47 (last 800m), 33.55 (last 600m) and 22.51 for his final 400 metres, and he scored without any pressure being applied by McDonald.

Hartnell is now head to the Cox Plate (Gr 1, 2040m) on 22 October with a clash with last year’s winner Winx (Street Cry) in preference to next Saturday’s Caulfield Cup (Gr 1, 2400m).

However, the runner up Jameka (Myboycharlie) has been confirmed for the Caulfield Cup and she showed she was on target clocking 45.79 (last 800m), 33.88 (last 600m) with her final 400 metres in 22.89.