Most eyes will have been on the unlucky Lucky Girl in the final race on Sunday but fourth placegetter, Derek Cruz-trained Mighty Maverick, is the one added to our black book after another excellent performance to hold on for fourth.
Leader Enormous Honour went along in front at what was, frankly, a suicidal pace and put to the sword himself and any runner in his vicinity – and that’s what made Mighty Maverick’s effort worthy of attention.
His first run here, over 1,400m, was a nice effort too, beaten just over a length by Presidentparamount after being handy most of the way, then popping out a little earlier than his rider probably wanted.
He stuck on well there and again on Sunday, stepping up to 1,600m for the first time in his life and comfortably beating any of the on-speed runners. Mighty Maverick was relatively unexplored in his previous life in New Zealand with just four starts as a three-year-old so his best is still coming and his form here already looks to have superseded any previous peaks.
A son of Snitzel, he might have been considered limited to a mile at best on his pedigree but Sun Jewellery is showing us that breeding rules are made to be broken and, like that horse, Mighty Maverick is showing some real toughness at the end of his races that will stand him in good stead at whatever assignment he is given.
In the opening race, first starter Home Run had shown some ability in his trials here and New Zealand but certainly appeared to be in need of racing and more ground than 1,200m.
Drawn wide, he went back in the field and that was not the place to be with the leaders sprinting home in very fast time for the final 400m. But Home Run was able to pick up ground running into that strong sectional and closed off into seventh place.
He’s a son of Hinchinbrook out of a Carnegie mare, that dam side of his pedigree suggests at least a mile should suit and Home Run should start to pay his way as his distances are stretched out beyond pure sprints.