David Hall enjoyed a good night at Happy Valley on Wednesday as he collected a double with Lucky Time and Fast Most Furious, but the meeting also highlighted another horse from the stable who should win races – if he can straighten out his racing manners.
Seventy Seventy has flashed plenty of ability at the trials and therefore he’s been prominent in the market in his first three starts and while he has two placings to his name, he has also featured in the stewards reports on each occasion.
On Wednesday night in the Class Four Kam Tin River Handicap (1,200m), wearing blinkers for the first time, the three-year-old raced ungenerously when Zac Purton eased him back after the start, getting his head up for about 80m.
The jockey did his best to save ground around the turn, sticking to the rail but when he asked for an effort at the top of the straight, Seventy Seventy was laying in and proved difficult to ride, mirroring the behaviour from his debut second to Iron Boy in March.
But he showed what he is capable of in the final 100m, putting his mind on the job and hitting the line hard for grab third behind Zero Hedge.
Despite the gelding’s difficulties in the straight, his final 400m split of 22.50 seconds was the fastest of the night. That stat is a little deceiving – he competed in the second race and the track progressively deteriorated because of the rain – but it is worth noting nonetheless.
Seventy Seventy should continue to iron out his quirks with more experience and more maturity but he has the ability to be winning races soon.
It was a night of almosts for Purton, who was unlucky not to win with The Judge later in the evening.
The Australian was forced to check twice on the Casper Fownes-trained gelding, once down the back when the pace slackened and once on the turn when he was left with nowhere to go.
But once he found clear running, The Judge rattled home to finish second to Lucky Time, running his final sectional almost half a second faster than anyone else in the race.
After taking a little while to acclimatise, the five-year-old import from New Zealand has now hit his stride and will be hard to beat next time out.