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The great Randwick mile feature of the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival, the 2012 Epsom Handicap was this afternoon taken out by the progressive favourite Fat Al who handed trainer Gai Waterhouse with her seventh Epsom win which saw her equal the record set by her late, great father Tommy Smith.
A race with a history of producing tough winners, today’s $500,000 Group 1 The Star Epsom (1600m) was won by lightly-raced four-year-old, Al Maher gelding Fat Al having had just nine previous runs.
A $27,000 bargain buy from the 2010 William Inglis and Son Australian Easter Yearling Sale, Fat Al is now a proud and deserved Epsom Handicap winner.
Coming off two slightly disappointing runs this time in they proved their potential in the Epsom getting the better of their two last start conquerors in fine style.
They didn’t do it too easy either Fat Al leading early from the Gwenda Markwell-trained Rolling Pin, who defeated them last time out in the Cameron Handicap at Newcastle.
It was a masterful training effort from Waterhouse and a masterful more aggressive ride from rising young jockey Tommy Berry who let Fat Al run out front today while some of the other top fancies such as George Main Stakes winner Shoot Out, midfield three wide with 700m to go, were having a tougher time.
Coming for home Rolling Pin was the first to move up and challenge Fat Al, who was allowed to roll along but not at a breakneck speed coming up on the outside, while Ambidexter who had had a charmed run also begin to move up.
Fat Al ($4.60) looked to just be holding position before they kicked at the 200-metres and won by a head from Peter Snowden’s gallant runner-up Ambidexter ($5.50), the Commands four-year-old having beaten Fat Al home in a similarly tight result in the Group 2 Theo Marks Sprint (1400m) on September 15, while Rolling Pin ($41) ran third a further one and a half lengths away adding value to the Epsom Handicap 2012 trifecta.
“What a great tide from Tommy,” an overjoyed Waterhouse said post-race.
“He’s just a genius….so thrilled for him.
“It was outstanding good on Fat Al!”
Berry was equally as ecstatic over the 2012 Epsom Handicap result, especially pleased to hand Waterhouse with her record-equaling win.
“That’s unreal, to go into the record books with Gai equaling her father that’s unbelievable,” he said.
“Who said she couldn’t get him to win the Epsom? I think she knows how to get a horse to win an Epsom now.
“I couldn’t believe how easy I got it, he was fresh today on the way to the gate…he was quick early.. typical Gai Waterhouse horse.
“He said to Ambidexter ‘Not this time buddy it’s my turn’.
“I’ve got to thank Gai…everyone at the team at Gai’s.”
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2012 Epsom Handicap Results & Finishing Order
Royal Randwick Race 7 – 06/10/2012
|1||8||FAT AL||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||=||6||52kg||$4.60F|
|2||6||AMBIDEXTER||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||0.2L||4||52kg||$5.50|
|3||7||ROLLING PIN (NZ)||Gwenda Markwell||Chad Schofield (a)||1.7L||5||52kg||$41|
|4||14||LIGHTINTHENITE||John O’Shea||Jim Cassidy||2.1L||1||52kg||$17|
|5||3||SECRET ADMIRER||Grahame Begg||James McDonald||2.3L||9||54kg||$6.50|
|6||4||MONTON||Ron Quinton||Ms Kathy O’Hara||3.2L||13||53kg||$51|
|7||1||SHOOT OUT||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||4L||10||58kg||$6|
|8||5||YOSEI||Stuart Webb||Glyn Schofield||4.2L||3||52.5kg||$21|
|9||12||TAGUS||John P Thompson||Brenton Avdulla||4.3L||7||52kg||$61|
|10||11||WILD AND PROUD||Gai Waterhouse||Peter Robl||4.6L||15||52kg||$51|
|11||13||SAID COM (NZ)||Chris Waller||Corey Brown||4.8L||12||52kg||$17|
|12||2||RANGIRANGDOO (NZ)||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||5.3L||14||57.5kg||$12|
|13||10||SOMEPIN ANYPIN (NZ)||Gary Portelli||Jay Ford||6.3L||11||52kg||$26|
|14||15||GANGSTER’S CHOICE||John O’Shea||Jason Collett||6.6L||8||52kg||$41|
|15||9||KONTIKI PARK (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Nathan Berry||6.7L||2||52kg||$16|
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