Stable fans reap rich reward
Nothing could have wiped the widest of grins from the face of trainer David Oughton after he provided the whopping 250-1 quinella in yesterday's Class Two second event.
The stable's top choice, Made To Figure (7-1), put two tragically unlucky starts behind him when clearing out a comfortable winner but it was stablemate American Way (55-1) who added spice to the equation for the likeable English handler when he speared through to grab second money.
The runner-up, ridden by Irish-raised Club Jockey Kieren Fallon, gained a late call-up for this 1,400-metre contest after the withdrawal on Saturday of Patrick Biancone's Treasure Island.
Fallon was taking ground off the winner in the final furlong and grabbed second by a head from outsider Somluck (99-1), who had hit the front at the top of the straight under Raymond S. M. Tam but couldn't sustain his run.
Much of the credit must go to talented stable jockey Alan Munro, who had partnered Made To Figure at both outings this season over trips that were clearly short of his best.
The three-year-old had made steady late headway at those two runs after missing the start on both occasions and his bad barrier manners may have steered some punters away from Made To Figure.
However, those that stayed loyal were duly rewarded as Munro's cool head and soft hands worked their magic.
Made To Figure was slowly away again yesterday and then copped a check, but Munro refused to push the panic button, allowing him to regain his feet and slide up to be poised just worse than midfield.
He settled well and when Munro asked for his effort he delivered a telling dash, hitting the front 200 metres from home.
By that stage it was just a matter of who would fill the placings and an excited Oughton was seen to be urging American Way home from the sidelines.
'He [Made To Figure] deserved it. He's run well without much luck this season and it's great to see him get his head in front. David's done a great job with him and he was cherry ripe for this. I just hope he can go on with it now,' said Munro.
Oughton's team are absolutely flying at present and Made To Figure is going as well as any of them. He'll be winning again soon.
Earlier, David Hayes started International Day in the best possible fashion when Ovation (7.9-1) beat off all challengers to take the Class Three opener.
Hayes is a master at preparing one for a first-up tilt and this speedy son of Snippets did nothing to dent that reputation.
He raced behind leader Grassland Star and found plenty when let down at the turn.
Ovation held the fast-finishing Professionalkiller (22-1) with Steven King aboard by just under a length, while Heading To Win (10-1) ran another honest race for third under Wendyll Woods.