News and events relating to Lord Lodge, horses, industry news etc.
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Always had a bit of time for this bloke who is lightly raced but always been heading in right direction and for the type of race it won today at Flemington. Was a great price too. Previously ran second to He Excels but that was 1750m and though beaten comfortably I thought past post was gaining on that horse showing he needed further. He has run some great sectionals in the past and would have been stiff not to win today getting caught up between trunners until Thompson got him out and to outside. If you have a good look at last 100m the horse then really put them in. Good ride, good horse and good to hear Col say he will let Big Sur have a break now till Spring. Next year will be his time but this Spring will be good to see progression and whether also he can race well at that time of year.
Great win and shows he has the potential to go places. For a start he ran about 1.49.20 which for a horse having only its 11 race start shows he knows how to gallop. Fact is in that 11 starts three were at 1200m or less and he was unplaced in each of them. But past 1200m he has never been unplaced and in 8 runs over 1400 or further has finished first or second seven times! What I liked about today is that he has now shown he can handle two differing tracks...Caulfield and Flemington and believe me a lot of horses can't. He also has guts...Thompson was caught 3-4 wise at the jump and either had to stay there and cover a ton of extra ground or gradually try and get one out. But he elected to go as quickly forward as he could and even he I think was surprised that the horse wanted to go and so he got a lovely sit off the leader. Not normally his go so early in a race because he likes to unwind late but he is maturing with racing and when challenged in straight fought on like a caged tiger. I thought the second horse had every chance and if you watch them in a replay after the line NC is going better than almost everything in race. PS: If you backed Top Of the Range forget it went around. Almost fell when going for run in straight and when clear went to line untested.
Thought his wide barrier draw might go again him today but think in the end it was being in front and taken on 800 out and then having to come again. Under the circumstances was a good run and probably deserves a break now. He is a very good horse and has progressed well this time in and the one thing about him is he is as honest as the day is long and will win more races yet
Now watched race a few times and make these observations. Firstly Thompson did not want to get back and I thought did big job getting across soon after start but then Harlow Gold pushed up to keep him three wide and I think that probably irked Thompson who had to make a decision whether to push forward and get a sit on the leader or lead himself. All of that I am sure took a little bit out of the horse but it is a sign of how far he has come that he not only got to front but at one stage put a couple of lengths on them until Prima made a fast move to take the lead. Thus on the turn we had three of them vying for front...Prima, Harlow Gold and NC. They dropped Prima who had had enough and at the 200 NC was in front again and Harlow Gold was beginning to feel pinch. Not surprising to me it left race open for anything worthwhile to come from behind but the fact that NC was beaten less than a length after all of that shows just how big a run it was.
On reflection and having gone back of this bloke's form last time in I think in fact his last run may have been close to his best and a forerunner of what he can do next time in. The horse had a tough run from the outside and must have used up some juice finally getting to front. When passed by Prima before turn a lot of other horses would have thrown it in but NC fought back and led until about 100m out. At the finish he was in front of Harlow Gold who had had the perfect sit on him and Prima finished 11th. That he was less than a length from winner after such a torrid time is testament to his indisputable character under pressure shown also in his previous two wins. And remember David Hayes has an opinion of the winner of this race.
Well he has had two runs back now but that run last night at Pakenham was better than the sixth placing. For a start Thompson probably by design did not want to get trapped wide with the big weight but then ended up at the rear and I reckon at about the 800-600m mark was at least 12-14 lengths off the lead. He has finished less than three lengths from the winner and may have finished closer but for some crowding in the last 100-150m. Remember he carried 63kgs ...that is about 9.11 under the old scale and a very big impost from a wide draw. Think it won't be long before he shows something with less than 60kgs.
Well should now be ready to win a race but possibly at 1800-2000m. Got a bit lost under pressure in straight till last 50-00m when he was coming again. I think he is better than lot of scribes might think