Century lives up to early promise
SMART galloper Lucky Century (5-1) looked every inch a horse destined for further improvement when he won the third event from a luckless topweight, Aashiq (5-2 favourite).
Given a perfect ride by New Zealander Nigel Tiley, Lucky Century, never worse than fourth in the run, came clear in the final 200 metres of the Class Three event to confirm fully earlier promise shown.
Aashiq and rider Darren Gauci were unable to get a clear run which would certainly have made the finish more interesting but it should not take away from the fact that Lucky Century is a very handy horse.
So, too, is Aashiq who found nowhere to go with the Tony Cruz-ridden Partner locking him away at a vital stage.
Aashiq flew when he saw daylight but Tiley and Lucky Century were home.
Tiley said: ''I could see from the replay that Aashiq was in trouble but Lucky Century does find a bit when challenged.'' Partner, given every chance by Cruz, finished third but may just lack some of the class of the two that finished in front of him.
Trainer Lawrie Fownes was adamant that Aashiq should have won the 1,400-metre event.
''We were desperately unlucky and I really do think we should have won it. He got no room but anyone could see the way he finished and if Aashiq had been able to move earlier it would have been a different story,'' he said.
British rider Alan Munro continued his good run when chalking up his third winner with Monkey Saint (10-1) in the opener.
Monkey Saint had earned a reputation for being irresolute with some earlier performances but Munro said: ''He faltered about 100 metres out but when King Prawn loomed he responded.