Elegance justifies Moore's faith
There were high hopes for Elegance Klammer when he arrived in John Moore's stables, but after the much-maligned galloper won the Japan Racing Association Trophy at Happy Valley last night, the trainer was simply relieved the import's owner had stuck solid and not taken the horse from him.
Elegance Klammer finished second to future superstar Frankel as a two-year-old in England, but his local form had never lived up to the boom that runner-up performance provided.
After going winless for his first season and taking 17 runs to break his local maiden, Moore feared the horse would be transferred.
The gelding has now struck form and won two from his last three starts in Class Three and Moore believes a win in Class Two is not beyond him.
'There were big expectations, but unfortunately there wasn't much left in the tank when he got here,' Moore said.
'He has been a disappointment really, but I can understand why, given the amount of racing he did as a two-year-old.
'The owner could have easily taken him off me, but he stayed loyal. The horse is certainly in a real purple patch now. Maybe he has turned the corner. He might just put another on the board and make it three for the season. Up in Class Two, with a light weight, he'll be hard to beat.'
According to winning jockey Brett Prebble, 'the penny may have dropped' for the four-year-old.
'He is hitting the line like he wants to do it,' said Prebble, who has now ridden six winners for Moore this season, all of them since the start of April.
Andreas Schutz has now won two from two with stable transfer Straight Forward (Keith Yeung Ming-lun), part of a double for the trainer.
'I looked at his form and I felt his best performances were here, so we brought him back,' Schutz said.
'A change in tactics helped, we predicted the slow pace and had him closer than usual.'
Schutz won earlier in the night with Blessing (Tye Angland), the trainer banking on a more settled horse to handle the city circuit better than early in his career.
'In trackwork as well as races, he has become easier to control and I wanted to give him another go here,' Schutz said.
'If you have a horse that pulls it is harder for them here. He has improved and that's why I wanted to try him, we have now got twice as many options with him.'
Derek Cruz opened the meeting with a running double, but admitted he wasn't overly confident with either of his upset winners Bingo Bingo (Matthew Chadwick) or Ever Beauty (Andreas Suborics).
'Bingo Bingo just drew the right marble in two, his morning trackwork has been good, but the way he had been running lately you just couldn't have him,' he said.Bingo Bingo's win was the first leg of a double for Chadwick, who later piloted Chancellor to a dramatic Class Four win.
Saddlers Lodge (Douglas Whyte) appeared to have the race won after unleashing a strong sprint, opening up a three length- plus lead, but he stopped in the final 100m and allowed Chadwick to swoop on the winner.
'It's not a nice feeling when that happens,' Whyte said after the race, while Chancellor's trainer Tony Cruz said he hadn't lost hope at any stage, as he knew his horse would finish strongly.
'He does give a nice kick,' he said. 'This time we had the right draw and got all of the advantages. Maybe we'll look at 1,800m for him'
Whyte later nabbed a cup win with a polished ride on Kick Serve.