Shock as New Glory romps home in night of upsets
Big numbers dominated the Happy Valley semaphore board last night with David Hall's $940 winner New Glory crowning the win dividends and ensuring a massive $10 million jackpot for next week's six-up.
New Glory was the meat in a tasty treble sandwich which blew punters out of the water at the back end of the card as Almond Lee's 198.50 winner rolled into New Glory and $143.50 priced victor Good Words to create a treble payout of more than $153,000.
Punters lucky enough to jag part of the $3 million Triple Trio payout were cheering every last zero however, and well-backed winners of the opening events ensured there were plenty of Easter eggs in the basket before the carnage began.
New Glory was the shock of the night, to all bar trainer Hall, who has watched on in vain as his talented, but untrustworthy galloper made a lie of his wide draw to blitz his rivals.
'Funnily enough, it's not a complete surprise, we know he's good enough to be highly competitive in class three, but obviously we didn't expect it from the wide draw after a tough run like he had,' Hall said.
'In one sense, that wide run was a plus because he was able to maintain his rhythm and that seems to be one of the keys to him.'
Jockey Brett Doyle would have felt more like he was on an odds-on chance after cruising to the lead in the straight, with New Glory putting favourite Groovy to the sword by 1 ?lengths.
Redoute's Fortune started the run of roughies in race five, saluting for South African rider Piere Strydom who survived an inquiry to claim his first Valley victory for trainer Me Tsui Yu-sak at odds of $152.50.
Strydom escaped suspension for the incident in the straight during his win, but Stewards questioned him at length about his ride on Super Caga in the prior race - the Kai Lai Handicap (2,200m).
The Lee-trained Give Well then claimed his fourth career win at odds of 18-1 before the Tony Cruz-trained Good Words steamed home to bag the last by 2 ?lengths under jockey Matthew Chadwick.
'Good Words has had a lot of mixed form recently because he has been experiencing mucopus attacks, it has been a very persistent problem with this horse, and we have had to scratch him a couple of times,' Cruz said. 'Tonight he was well favoured with the light weight and the way Matthew rated him in front, but I was very thankful that the early favourite Turbo King came out, it made the race an easier event for us.'
Caspar Fownes is also carrying winning form going into Monday's Champions Mile meeting, and enjoyed a deserved win from Royal Pumpkin, ridden by his stable apprentice Vincent Ho Chak-yiu.
'He kicked strong in the straight tonight and did everything right, which was good because he has deserved this win,' Fownes said.
Brett Prebble was fined $20,000 for not riding out Express Win to the line in the same race, but will put all that behind him when he is legged aboard Fownes' top miler Lucky Nine on Monday.
Andreas Schutz claimed a win with his 'boomerang galloper' Magic King, who left his stable at the end of last season and went to trainer Paul O'Sullivan, but who came back to his yard two starts ago and is obviously happy to be back in his old stall.
'I actually thought he'd win last time at his first run back, but there was a slow pace and he didn't enjoy that,' Schutz said. 'Tonight there was a better speed on and everything went right for him, I'm just pleased he's finally won another race.'