On The Watch

Houtzen Runs Brilliant Sectional Times In Taking Out Magic Millions 2YO Classic

After displaying her now renowned fast early pace, jockey Jeff Lloyd quickly steered the two-year-old filly across from barrier 16 to take the lead, seemingly in a twinkling.

But the stopwatch showed that while it may have looked easy for Houtzen, the pace required in doing so was quite outstanding.

Clocked from the barrier, Houtzen ran her first 600 metres in 33.72, first 800 metres in 45.00 and first 1000 metres in 56.96 before fighting back gamely over the final 200 metres to score by a half length from the Gerald Ryan-trained colt Chauffeur (Snitzel).

Time for the 1200 metre journey was a very smart 1:09.49 but it was Houtzen’s early sectional times that were the most impressive feature of her victory.

A $105,000 purchase by Toby Edmonds Racing at the 2016 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale, Houtzen has now raced three times for three wins for prize money earnings of $1,285,400.

The performance of the runner up Chauffeur also deserves highlighting.

Having just his third start, he came from back in 12th place and after going deep rounding the home turn, Chauffeur ran on strongly, failing by only half a length in overhauling Houtzen.

Both are now likely to meet again in the Golden Slipper Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) at Rosehill on 18 March.

In the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (RL, 1400m), the Victorian-trained filly Flying Jess (Hinchinbrook) was a surprise $101 winner but she staged a good performance, nevertheless, by coming off a hectic tempo to score a late-closing neck victory.

The fast pace resulted from the contested lead between the previously unbeaten colt Winning Rupert (Written Tycoon) and the dual Group Onewinning filly Global Glamour (Star Witness).

And the sectional times were quite outstanding. Clocked from the barrier they clocked the first 600 metres in 34.43, first 800 metres in 45.85 and first 1000 metres in 57.05.

The effort of the runner-up Global Glamour, under those circumstances, was quite exceptional and she should prove hard to beat at her next appearance.

While Winning Rupert weakened for fourth, his first defeat in six starts, in addition to the fast pace he had other valid excuses as it was his first attempt at 1400 metres but more significant was the subsequent news that trainer Bjorn Baker has discovered bone chip issues in a knee, which will require surgery.

The sectional times were also complemented by a fast overall time, with the 1400 metre journey being clocked in 1:21.23, which was 0.47 seconds faster than the time Testashadow (Testa Rossa) recorded in the Magic Millions Cup (RL, 1400m), adding merit to win of Flying Jess.

Another late-closing winner was the Greg Hickman-trained mare Private Secretary (Husson) who came from last in the 16-horse field in the Magic Millions Fillies and Mares (1300m) to grab a half-head victory on the post.

Private Secretary returned the fastest closing sectional times of any of the winners at the meeting for the last 1000 metres (56.16), 600 metres (33.52), 400 metres (22.56) and last 200 metres (11.16).

While the fastest last 800 metres (44.66) was recorded by the Joe Pride-trained Target In Sight (Nadeem) in his brilliant first up win in the Magic Millions Sprint (1200m).

Having his first run since June after suffering a bleeding attack, Target In Sight came from ninth in the 16-horse field to win by a neck in the fast time of 1:08.78 for the 1200 metre distance.

Target In Sight also clocked quick mid-race sections, his 200 metre breakdown (from the 800m point) being 10.84, 10.98 (400m in 21.82), 11.58 (600m in 33.40) with his final 200 metres in 11.26 to give him his last 800 metres in 44.66.

In the Magic Millions Trophy (2200m), the Darren Weir-trained dual Group One winner Stratum Star (Stratum) resumed after a brief let-up after taking out the Kingston Town Classic (Gr 1, 1800m) at Ascot on 3 December to score a very solid win under his 61 kilogram top weight.

Racing in sixth place most of the way to the 600 metres, Stratum Star ran on gamely to win by a neck from Feltre (Show A Heart) to whom he conceded seven kilograms.

Time for the 2200 metre distance was 2:16.08 (a good 200m rate of 12.37) and Stratum Star also clocked very solid closing sectional of 60.70 (last 1000m), 47.82 (last 800m), 35.58 (last 600m) and 23.74 (last 400m) confirming yet again his quality.

The last word in this week’s column goes to the debut win of the Gerald Ryan-trained colt Menari (Snitzel) in the Two-Year-Old Plate (1100m) at Randwick on Saturday.

After a slow beginning, Menari recovered to settle in third place on the rails in the small five-horse field, was briefly held up in the straight but after getting a split at the 200 metres, he then sprinted clear to score impressively by a length and three-quarters.

Time for the 1100 metre journey was smart 1:03.67 (200m rated of 11.57), which is equivalent to 1200 metres in 1:09.45 but it was Menari’s sectional times that took the eye.

Clocked from the 1000 metres, Menari’s 200 metre breakdown was 10.73, 11.09 (400m in 21.82), 11.32 (600m in 33.14), 10.93 (800m in 44.07) with his last 200 metres in 11.29 to give him a fast 55.36 for the final 1000 metres.

It was a very smart win and Menari looks to have a bright future.

Gold Coast Sectional Times provided by www.dailysectionals.com.au