Unraced two-year-olds can make plenty of mistakes in races and, though they often recover to run with promise, they rarely win.
But the Jason Warren-trained filly Brooklyn Hustle, who could hardly have made life harder for herself on debut at Moonee Valley on Saturday, proved the exception to the rule.
The daughter of that very quick sprinter Starspangledbanner blew the start in the 1000-metre Buildsafe Plate, giving all of her rivals at least a couple of lengths – in some cases far more – start.
In those circumstances, with such a raw horse over such a short trip, connections usually put down their binoculars and give up any expectation of victory, hopeful only that their pride and joy might run home well past a few rivals in the closing stages.
Brooklyn Hustle did all of that – and plenty more. Still anchored near the tail of the field as the leaders thundered into the short Valley straight, she began to pick up the bit.
Jockey Beau Mertens had not panicked, nor had he abandoned hope. And, as the penny dropped for the inexperienced filly, Mertens pulled her out from the rails, got to the centre of the track and accelerated through the field.
With 100 metres left she was still a couple of lengths behind the leader, Oh So Rewarding, but such was her momentum that Mertens was able to ease up in the final strides, his mount having gone two lengths clear in the blink of an eye.
The value of the form wont be known until some of the beaten brigade have reappeared, but to the eye this was a hugely impressive performance in which she ran the last 200 metres in 10.96 seconds.
Certainly the Mornington-based Warren was ecstatic, and daring to dream that he might have a group 1 filly on his hands.
She will be back for the Blue Diamond now, Warren said.
We havent emptied her out. We let her run under her own steam.
Shes easily the best two-year-old I have had, although I havent had heaps … but shes always shown us that she was an above average two-year-old.
I came here today pretty confident with her. We didnt have her wound up. The Cranbourne trial we had on Monday was very soft and she has always continued to show us a lot.
I said to Beau today that shes very good, I just dont know how good she is.
*This is the time of year that apprentices get the chance to shine, and three-kilogram claiming rider Lachlan King seized his opportunity when he steered home a race to race double for the Hayes-Dabernig combination aboard the promising Five Kingdom and the mare Shokora, who appreciated the drop in class to score in the fillies and mares benchmark 84 handicap.
*Adelaide visitor Behemoth had created a big impression at the start of the day giving Craig Williams the first leg of an early double, the champion also scoring on My Pendant for Danny OBrien.
*Its hard enough winning one race anywhere, so Jamie Edwards and his staff were delighted when improving mare Fill The Flute made it four victories in succession as Georgina Cartwright got her home in the 1000-metre sprint, while Mornington-based Jerome Hunter was equally pleased when Our Luca and Stephanie Thornton had enough in reserve to hang on in the open sprint handicap, defeating some seasoned performers in the process.
Fill The Flute is a speed machine, Freshwater Creek-based trainer Edwards said, which shows how inexact a science breeding can be as she is a half sister to the recent Victoria Derby winner Extra Brut.
Michael Lynch, The Age's expert on soccer, has had extensive experience of high level journalism in the UK and Australia. Michael has covered the Socceroos through Asia, Europe and South America in their past three World Cup campaigns. He has also reported on Grands Prix and top class motor sport from Asia and Europe. He has won several national media awards for both sports and industry journalism.
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