On The Watch

Flying Artie Runs Brilliant Sectional Times In Taking Out Coolmore Stud Stakes

After being twice-placed at Group One level in his first four starts, Flying Artie was having his second run this preparation after a setback following his third in the Golden Slipper Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) in March.

He was patiently ridden by Hugh Bowman, settling in last place in the nine-horse field with cover. He travelled in the centre of the course, before taking a split at the 200 metre mark.

Flying Artie dashed to the front shortly afterwards before going on to score decisively by a length and a quarter from Godolphin’s top colt Astern (Medaglia d’Oro) with Star Turn (Star Witness) a short half head away third.

In a high quality field, the previously unbeaten Russian Revolution (Snitzel) was fourth with the dual Group One-winning colt Extreme Choice (Not A Single Doubt), a stablemate of the winner, finishing fifth.

Time for the 1200 metre journey was a fast 1:08.98 but the feature of Flying Artie’s victory was his outstanding sectional times.

Clocked from the 1000 metres, Flying Artie ran 200 metre sections of 10.96, 11.12 (400m in 22.08), 10.88 (600m in 32.96), 10.52 (800m in 43.48) with his final 200 metres in 11.28, giving him a brilliant last 1000 metre time of 54.76.

That is a very fast 200 metre rate of 10.95 for his last 1000 metres, a clear demonstration of the merit of Flying Artie’s performance – which was quite exceptional and he looks set for an outstanding career.

And the efforts of the placegetters, considering the fast time was also excellent. The runner-up Astern clocking 54.97 for his last 1000 metres with the third-placed Star Turn returning a very smart 55.29.

Those colts were one of the star attractions on Saturday’s Derby Day program with the obvious highlight of the Flemington Carnival coming three days later with the running of the $6,000,000 Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m).

In a much more truly run race than the year prior, the German-bred Almandin (Monsun) defeated the French-bred Heartbreak City (Lando) by a long head in an exciting finish.

Time for the 3200 metre distance, on a Good4 track was 3:20.58, which was 2.57 seconds faster than Prince Of Penzance (Pentire) clocked in winning in 2015 on a firmer Good3 track.

Also noteworthy was the sectional breakdown of the two races.

Prince Of Penzance’s 2015 Melbourne Cup taking 1:48.75 (just breaking 13.00 per 200m) for the first 2600 metres, developing into a sprint home for the last 600 metres with that section run in a quick 34.40 (11.46 200m rate).

This year the leaders returned a time of 2:44.34 for the first 2600 metres, which was 4.41 seconds faster, and accordingly that resulted in the final 600 metres being slower, taking 36.24 – this year’s race being a much truer test of stamina.

The winner Almandin returned strong sectional times, with his final 1200 metres being run in 1:10.87 and his last 1000 metres clocking 58.51, in coming from beyond midfield to score.

The runner-up Heartbreak City, came from a similar position and he ran 1:11.11 for his final 1200 metres with his last 1000 metre in 58.70.

While the third-placed Hartnell (Authorized), who finished just over four lengths further back, raced a bit closer and was in ninth place at the 1200 metre mark. He ran that final distance in 1:12.34 with his last 1000 metres taking 59.48.

Hartnell did travel a touch keen according to jockey James McDonald and he appeared tested to a degree by the 3200 metre trip in the closing stages, however he did concede weight to the pair that beat him home, giving the winner four kilos and the runner-up two kilos.

Earlier on Cup Day the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained two-year-old filly Invincible Star (I Am Invincible) was impressive in taking out the Ottawa Stakes (Gr 3, 1000m) racing on debut.

After showing good pace on the Grandstand side, she drew away over the closing stages to score by just over two lengths in the smart time of 58.37 on the Good4 track.

But even more noteworthy were Invincible Star’s sectional times. Clocked from the 800 metre mark, she ran 200 metre sections of 10.45, 10.67 (400m in 21.12), 10.98 (600m in 32.10) with her last 200 metres in 12.50 to give her a fast 44.60 for her final 800 metres.

Invincible Star has now been set for the Magic Millions 2YO Classic (RL, 1200m) on the Gold Coast on 14 January where she looks to have strong claims already judging by her Melbourne Cup Day win.

Another really promising young horses to emerge at the carnival, was the Chris Waller-trained three-year-old colt Comin’ Through (Fastnet Rock) who won the Carbine Club Stakes (Gr 3, 1600m) on Derby Day at only his third race start.

A half-brother to multiple Group One winner Criterion (Sebring), Comin’ Through began well, but did not show much early pace before being shuffled back through the field to wind up in second last place in the ten-horse field.

He then put in a strong run, in the middle of the track, and after getting to the front at the 100 metres, Comin’ Through fought back well to defeat the Godolphin-raced colt Morton’s Fork (Ad Valorem) by a head.

“He could have won by a lot more,” his rider Michael Walker said. “He did it so easily.”

Comin’ Through returned excellent closing sectional times with his final 1200 metres clocking 1:08.94, last 1000 metre 56.99, last 800 metre 45.02, last 600 metre 33.84 with his final 400 metres in 22.78.

Trainer Chris Waller indicated that Comin’ Through would now most likely be spelled and aimed at the three-year-old features at the Sydney Autumn Carnival, the ATC Australian Derby (Gr 1, 2400m) being a realistic goal considering the lightly raced colt’s potential.