Casino butcher maintains Exclusive edge in Grafton
OPEN HCP: Exclusive might have been “thrown in the deep end” but he surfed his way to victory along the rail to win the feature race at Grafton yesterday.
The four-year-old gelding had never won over the 1106m sprint distance of the $20,000 Clarence Valley Wholesalers Open Handicap, with all four of his career wins coming over 1400m.
Three of those victories were at Grafton though, where he relishes the long and wide straight.
So it was yesterday, the four-year-old gelding son of Written Tycoon coming from well back in the field to race away with the open sprint.
“I didn’t know what to do with him,” Casino butcher Stephen Bennett said after the win.
“So I threw him in the deep end.”
Bennett said his gelding had enjoyed a “freshen up” and had come back well.
“I was very happy with him but I thought it might have been a bit short for him,” he said.
“He had a good barrier and it was a good ride too.”
Kirk Matheson rode the gelding, making a smart play down the inside after Knocktoff made a claim as the early leader.
She’s Choosie was hanging just in behind while race favourite Golden Comet fell some way back after a slow start.
Knocktoff looked set to steal the win before Exclusive came out of nowhere with a powerful surge through the middle to take out the win.
Bennett’s first hope, Sharp Wit, fell just short with fourth.
Stephen Lee was in fine form as he snared a double when Luvulongtime railed through to win the $20,000 Cansdell Signs Class 2 Handicap (1410m) at Grafton yesterday.
The 20–1 longshot was ridden a treat by Tamworth apprentice Yvette Lewis while her 2kg claim was also appreciated by the four-year-old daughter of Love Conquers All.
She also jumped from a last-start maiden win, bypassing a Class 1, to win against more seasoned opposition,
“I’d have been real happy if she’d finished in the top five,” Lee said after also winning with Miss Whittington earlier on the day.
“She’s been working really good and she is carrying more condition this time.”
Lee had high hopes of snaring a treble when See It Thru hit the front straight heading for home but the gelding had to settle for fifth after the Owen Glue-trained At Witz End surged home.