‘Sun’ goes down to Ocean Crossing
Hot favourite Sun Ops rolled over by $154 roughie
It's never easy - or a good idea - to go against a good horse. That's in the punters' "rule book". But it was proven wrong yesterday.
Everything pointed to Sun Ops taking the penultimate race yesterday. And racegoers jammed the betting booths to have a wager on the unbeaten son of I Am Invincible.
Such was his "pull" that, at the off, Sun Ops was showing $8 on the win. As it turned out, the "gift" turned out to be a booby prize.
Sun Ops was rolled over by a $154 outsider named Ocean Crossing, who turned the form book on its head when winning the 1,100m sprint on the Polytrack.
Trained by leading trainer Michael Clements and ridden by Shafrizal Saleh, Ocean Crossing came from out of the blue in the home stretch to run home an impressive winner.
He beat Cheval Rapide by a neck. All that Sun Ops could do was finish third.
But all credit to Ocean Crossing for a job well done. Having his first outing this year, many reckoned the 1,100m trip would be too short and sharp.
But he proved them wrong. With the win, Ocean Crossing has won six races from 1,100m to the mile. He'll go on to win bigger and better races.
That disappointment aside, yesterday's action got going in fine style with trainer Hideyuki Takaoka boosting his reputation as a trainer to follow in those "long" races.
His charge Poroshiri made every post a winning one when outgunning his rivals over the Poly 1,700m.
Ridden by Krisna Thangamani, he skipped to the front on passing the grandstand and was soon pursued by a posse of runners.
Obviously relishing the tongue-tie, which Takaoka had specially fitted onto the four-year-old, Poroshiri kept his pursuers feeding on his dust as he went further and further away.
Into the straight and it was all over. Poroshiri had, after 13 tries, finally put a win on the board and the quiet Japanese gent had enhanced his reputation of a trainer of stayers.
As if to prove his versatility, Takaoka saddled his last-start winner Sun Elizabeth to win Race 5 - a 1,200m sprint on turf.
In the second of 11 races on the day, we pointed you in the direction of Everest - and, like a good horse - he obliged.
Ridden by Danny Beasley, who would end the day with a treble - the American colt was always among the leaders and he showed fighting qualities by digging in when challenged late by King Arthur.
That great tick of the heart paid dividends and he held on to win by a length. Neglected in the betting, he paid $107 for the win.
The three-figure payout surprised his trainer, Ricardo Le Grange. He said: "I thought his price would have been much shorter."
He added: "We always knew he was a nice horse and Danny did a lot of work on him. He's a horse going places and he's going to get better and better."
Everest had caught the eye at both of his trials and he looked a forward sort who would run a good race. That's exactly how it all panned out.
The in-form horse delivered - with a leg in the air.