Tennis legend Lleyton Hewitt was on hand at Caulfield to cheer his horse Evening Glory to victory in the Warren Moore Handicap (1200m).
Hewitt, a Wimbledon and dual US Open champion, part-owns Evening Glory along with fellow former Australian tennis professionals Sam Groth and Peter Luczak as well as star coach and television pundit Darren Cahill.
Evening Glory was first past the post but lost a race at The Valley on protest first-up but luck went the Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained gelding’s way at Caulfield.
Jamie Kah rode Evening Glory to victory for a syndicate that includes tennis legend Lleyton Hewitt at Caulfield. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Premiership-leading jockey Jamie Kah gave Evening Glory the perfect run behind the leaders but had to conserve her mount’s finishing sprint as long as she could.
Evening Glory ($6) did enough to get past the $201 chance Zoujea before holding off the charge of the unlucky Housay, scoring by a long neck.
“Lleyton is up in the stands, I think you could hear a big ‘come on’, so they’re all very happy. Just hoping the horse can go on with it now,” Sam Freedman joked after Evening Glory’s win.
Kah picked up the ride on Evening Glory after apprentice Lachlan Neindorf was suspended for careless riding on the sprinter at The Valley.
Kah said she thought Evening Glory had the quality to see off his opposition but his lack of acceleration was a concern.
Evening Glory proves too strong at Caulfield today, as Housay was incredibly unlucky in the run. 😱@FreedmanRacing @lleytonhewitt @darren_cahill @SamGrothTennis
“I was confident but he doesn’t have a big sprint on him, this horse, so I was trying to hold him together as long as I could,” Kah said. “He’s a big, strong animal and when he puts it together, and he keeps his mind on the job, he’s a good horse.
“I was confident on the turn but I knew there’d be horses swooping late. Luckily he held on.”
Housay’s jockey Craig Williams lamented his lack of luck on the grey in the straight. Rival jockey Damien Oliver on Promotions held Williams and Housay in a pocket in the straight, causing the $2.90 favourite to be held up until his winning chance had gone.
“I tested a couple of waters (gaps) but they just didn’t open up for me,” Williams said. As it turned out he got out at the 60-metre mark and ate the line. He’s a really good horse in the making. Unfortunately I haven’t had luck on him in the last two starts.”
ZAC’S RAW TALENT SHINES THROUGH
Talent overcame immaturity as Zac De Boss remained unbeaten with a determined effort in Saturday’s Vin Quirk Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield.
Zac De Boss started his career with a maiden win at Warrnambool on December 17, but co-trainers Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra saw enough merit in that win to send the gelding straight to town for his second outing.
But the three-year-old did himself no favours when racing keenly to the home turn in the $75,000 Benchmark 64 assignment.
Zac De Boss ($6) continued to race erratically in the straight but the promising son of Kiwi sire Zacinto had too much quality for his rivals once jockey Damien Thornton put him into the race, beating the on-pacer Jimenez ($15) by 1½ lengths.
Zac De Boss notched his second win to remain unbeaten. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Zahra knows Zac De Boss has plenty to learn but said his work on Tuesday morning left the stable confident the promising galloper could notch another win despite rising in class.
“He’s pretty raw. When he hit the front, he wanted to run around a bit,” he said.
Zahra said Zac De Boss’s immaturity meant the stable wouldn’t aim too high this time in, but the horse was capable of winning another race or two in similar contests.
“We’ll find another three-year-old race around this distance, and try and cash in.”
Ellerton and Zahra completed a double when consistent mare Sword Of Mercy got the prize, courtesy of a well-timed Jamie Kah ride, in the Mia Tiernan Handicap (1100m).
ON THE PUNT — CAULFIELD
BAD START FOR PUNTERS
Favourite backers endured a difficult start to the day when the heavily-backed Impecunious was scratched at the barriers before the first race at Caulfield.
A $2.50 favourite, Impecunious was kicked by another runner behind the gates. A vet ruled the impressive last-start winner was unfit to run.
Warrnambool filly Bella Tiara made the most of the favourite’s scratching, sailing down the outside to score for trainer Matthew Williams and jockey Dean Yendall.
OLLIE EARNS MEDAL FOR GODOLPHIN
Damien Oliver’s day started on a frustrating note but his fortunes improved when he steered Godolphin three-year-old Dickin Medal to a strong win in the Erin Coldham Handicap (1100m).
Oliver lost a great chance for an early win when his mount Impecunious was scratched from the first race of the day but Dickin Medal gave the champion jockey his first win of 2021.
Oliver rode Dickin Medal to his maiden win at Geelong last month before again getting the best out of the James Cummings-trained three-year-old at Caulfield. Dickin Medal had a half-head to spare over the fast-finishing Nantucket at the end of the $135,000 contest.
Dickin Medal remains unbeaten after a tough metro win. 👌🏻@godolphin @MelbRacingClub
LUCKY SHOE FOR RULE THE WORLD
A horse being replated behind the gates is often the end of its chances in a race but Rule The World made light of that theory with his win in the Travis Stillman Handicap (1400m).
Rule The World lost a shoe on the way to the barriers before the $125,000 race, which was delayed while the farrier replaced the plate behind the gates.
The new footwear wasn’t a problem for Rule The World, who finished hard to grab the Danny O’Brien-trained Grinzinger Allee on the line, giving Sydney training partners Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott a narrow win.
Rule The World gave jockey Craig Williams his third win in the first two days of January after he rode a double at Friday’s New Year’s Day meeting at Flemington.
Cranbourne trainer Richard Laming is $5000 lighter in the pocket after he pleaded guilty to racially abusing a track rider in August. Laming pleaded guilty to the misconduct charge at an inquiry at Cranbourne on New Year’s Eve.
The incident occurred while the track rider was mounted on a horse at trackwork on August 13. Stewards charged Laming with directing “threatening, racially vilifying and insulting comments” to the rider.
KIRAN 1 — DAD 0
It might have been a non-TAB meeting at Kyneton on New Year’s Day but it was the biggest meeting anywhere in the world for the Quilty family.
Apprentice Kiran Quilty went head-to-head with her father, experienced jockey Cameron Quilty, in a race for the first time on Friday.
Kiran had the better of her dad, booting home the Robert Kingston-trained Voodoo Queen to win the 1850m BM52 handicap while Cameron’s mount Doctor Timor finished nine lengths adrift. A 4kg claimer, Kiran also steered the John Price-trained Mr Have A Chat into third placing in the first race at Kyneton.
“(Trainer) Matthew (Williams) sent me a text for how he’d like me to ride the horse and I rode it to a tee today,” Dean Yendall liked his ride on the first winner Bella Tiara.
“Any idea where (Dal) Cielo finished this time? #protest” – Former tennis pro Sam Groth (@SamGrothTennis) after his horse Evening Glory won the rematch with Dal Cielo at Caulfield.
Originally published asGlory days: Hewitt laps up gelding’s success
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