Karuta Queen Defeated by African Pulse in Melbourne Cup Day 2011 Race 5 Results
Neville Layt‘s exceptional filly Karuta Queen was defeated at Flemington’s Melbourne Cup Day 2011 today, the smart three-year-old not good enough to hang on when an up-and-coming sprinter from the stables of Michael Moroney, African Pulse, laid down the challenge in the $100,000 Listed Schweppes Tonic 1000 (1000m).
Last-start Cox Plate Day winner Karuta Queen was the well-backed $1.55 favourite in the Flemington Melbourne Cup Day Race 5 odds at Luxbet, and she ran a good race, but lightly-raced Johannesburg colt African Pulse and jockey Lisa Cropp blew the favourite away.
It was a nice sign for Cropp heading into the big race of the day, the 2011 Melbourne Cup at 3:00pm (local time), as she has the ride on last Saturday’s Mackinnon Stakes’ winner, the talented grey import Glass Harmonium.
Today will be Cropps’ second Melbourne Cup ride, the hoop on a live-wire chance with Glass Harmonium ticking every box except for the distance queries.
Currently Glass Harmonium pays $31 in the Melbourne Cup odds at Luxbet, a price that could firm with Cropp now having ridden a winner on the day.
In the Schweppes Tonic Karuta Queen jumped away okay from barrier seven of nine, while African Pulse also got away well from the inside alley.
The eventual winner raced close to the inside, with the baldy face Karuta Queen pushing to the front of the field early to lead.
Approaching the 400 metre mark African Pulse on the far side of the field pinned their ears back and threw down a challenge.
With 300 metres left to travel Karuta Queen had exhausted her lead and was quickly taken by a fast finishing African Pulse who opened up on the favourite and raced away to hit the line nearly two lengths clear.
Finishing off the winning Flemington Race 5 Trifecta, which Luxbet paid out the best tote price on plus gave winning exotic punters a 5% bonus, was the Matt Laurie-trained The Counterfeiter.
It was a very promising win from African Pulse who was having just their third career start, the galloper having suffered from shin issues during their opening season.
African Pulse was also racing first-up since May 21, looking to be a real sprinter on the rise after performing so very well fresh today.
“He’s a very good sprinter and a very, very fast horse,” Moroney said after the win.
“He’s a lovely, lovely colt and we’ve always had a huge opinion of him.
“He just kept going shin sore as a two-year-old so really he should have won three out of three (career starts).”
Cropp too said that since the first time she jumped on African Pulse she had been impressed.
“I don’t think I could stop talking (him up),” she said.
“He’s everything I thought he was today.
“He’s had a few hiccups but he’s on towards great things.
“(Today was) a super run.”
Moroney and Cropp now look towards Flemington Race 7, the trainer hinting that Glass Harmonium was doing well ahead of his stamina test this afternoon in the ‘race that stops a nation’.
“The grey horse (Glass Harmonium) is really relaxed down there so far so fingers crossed,” he said.
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