Gai Waterhouse’s nicely bred colt Marseille Roulette kicked off their career in fine style at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday holding on in a narrow finish and surviving a protest to win the 2013 Inglis Classic.
A son of former Golden Slipper place-getter Zizou, Marseille Roulette was a $62,000 buy from last year’s Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sales and has already won back more than double their purchase price.
With Waterhouse opting for the restricted $250,000 Inglis Classic (1200m) for the two-year-olds’ debut, Marseille Roulette ($8) bagged a tidy $174,500 for their short half-head win over the $3.10 favourite Fuerza from Bjorn Baker’s Sydney stables in the Classic.
Finishing off the winning trifecta was then the Robbie Laing-trained Direct Charge ($6.50), the HKJC Maribyrnong Plate champ from last spring crossing a further two lengths away.
Marseille Roulette raced very greenly in their first trip to the races which nearly cost them the win as James McDonald, aboard runner-up Fuerza, lodged a protest over the Inglis Classic winner and their hoop Tommy Berry for shifting inside at the 100m.
The protest was dismissed however because of the two-length rule.
“It is clear the horse has shifted but it is two lengths clear,” Chief Steward Ray Murrihy explained.
“It is the sort of thing that happens in racing all the time.
“We cannot agree there are grounds to uphold a protest. The horse is well clear.”
Still there was no denying the eye-catching performance from Marseille Roulette as they overcome a wide barrier 12 (of 14) draw to hit the line first showing nice improvement from their earlier winning barrier trail by a similarly close margin at Randwick at the start of the month.
“We have worked very hard on him since,” Waterhouse said after Saturday’s win.
“I didn’t think the trial was good enough to win.”
After their successful debut Waterhouse is likely to continue onto the Blue Diamond Preludes in two weeks’ time with Marseille Roulette with the $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 23 a possible target.
“They don’t do what Marseille Roulette did on the weekend off just one trial too often – winning at 1200 metres,” Waterhouse said.
“We will see how he goes in the next week but Melbourne might be the right option for him.”
See below for the full 2013 Inglis Classic results and stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest on the autumn juvenile features starting with the Blue Diamond Previews this Saturday at Caulfield.
When it comes to tracking down the hottest odds on all the new season races look no further than bookmaker.com.au – home of the famous $400 bonus welcome bet offer!
2013 Inglis Classic Results & Finishing Order
Rosehill Gardens – 19/12/2012
|1||7||MARSEILLE ROULETTE||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||–||12||56.5kg||$8|
|2||4||FUERZA||Bjorn Baker||James McDonald||0.1L||6||56.5kg||$3.10F|
|3||3||DIRECT CHARGE||Robbie Laing||Glyn Schofield||2.1L||4||56.5kg||$6.50|
|4||14||SWEET KISS||Gary Nickson||Jason Collett||2.9L||1||54.5kg||$7|
|5||9||STANDARD BEARER||Noel Mayfield-Smith||Jay Ford||3.4L||9||56.5kg||$13|
|6||10||DEVIL IN A DRESS||Kris Lees||Christian Reith||5.2L||8||54.5kg||$5.50|
|7||2||CANNYZING||Harold Norman||Ms Kathy O’Hara||5.4L||2||56.5kg||$20|
|8||5||HARRY HOTSPUR||Kim Waugh||Corey Brown||7.7L||5||56.5kg||$61|
|9||8||METICULOUSLY||Matthew Dale||Peter Robl||7.8L||11||56.5kg||$18|
|10||12||RACINGFOR DIAMONDS||David Pfieffer||Sam Clipperton (a)||8.4L||13||54.5kg||$26|
|11||1||AWAREWOLF||Bjorn Baker||Brenton Avdulla||8.6L||14||56.5kg||$71|
|12||11||LITTLE MISS CHELSY||Tom Wilson||Blake Spriggs (a)||10.1L||7||54.5kg||$201|
|13||13||SNAPPY DIAMOND||John Nisbet||Ms Kayla Nisbet (a)||11.6L||3||54.5kg||$201|
|14||6||LAD ABOUT TOWN||Kerry Parker||Rod Quinn||12.9L||10||56.5kg||$151|
|–||17||KISS ME GOODBYE||Gerald Ryan||Ronnie Stewart||–||0||–||–|
|–||18||MONSIEUR HUGHES||David Pfieffer||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||15||EVERAGE||Craig Carmody||Corey Brown||–||0||–||–|
|–||16||MR RAINMAKER||Gerald Ryan||Joshua Parr||–||0||–||–|