Supernova gets it on the line
Trainer Marsh's 8YO beats Le Grange-trained pair in a thrilling three-way finish
It was just an ordinary Class 4 event but what a thriller it turned out to be.
The Polytrack 1,700m race ended with three horses lunging at the post together and the photo-finish showed trainer Bruce Marsh's SUPERNOVA winning by a mere nose from Mighty Emperor, with only a short head to the third horse, Super Joe. The runner-up and third-placegetter were trained by Ricardo Le Grange.
Le Grange's other runner, the grey Verbal Link, set a brisk pace, leading by three lengths at the backstraight from Mighty Emperor. Super Joe, who was behind early, was rushed up to be third at the halfway stage.
DOZEN LENGTHS BEHIND
Supernova had only one horse, Arr Flair, behind him, and he was about a dozen lengths behind the leader. Jockey Vlad Duric made his move only from the 600m mark and his mount moved up nicely albeit wide out.
Mighty Emperor overtook Verbal Link turning for home. Super Joe also moved up. Supernova joined in the fray in the final 200m and the three horses fought all the way to the post.
In the bobbing of heads, Supernova put his down when it mattered most. It was his ninth win from 50 starts and his first from only two 1,700m attempts.
Although Supernova had won only up to 1,400m, Marsh was upbeat as his charge has been finishing on in his recent races.
"He has been hitting the line so strong, so I thought he should be able to get the 1,700m because we have been riding him quietly and he has been storming home, you know," said the New Zealand handler.
"He's a good Poly horse, so we had to run him because there was no 1,400m race. We had no option but I was pretty confident he would get the trip."
Duric thought he won much easier than the nose margin.
"I was a bit worried when I came back and his number wasn't up yet," said the season's leading jockey.
"I was confident on his work and how he was going, and it was nice to get one for Bruce."