Jim Conlan-trained colt Ferlax has overcome a huge rise in class to keep his unbeaten record alive and score an upset win the Group 1 2013 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington today.
The race was blown wide open when odds-on favourite All Too Hard was scratched this morning and Ferlax ($17) produced a strong performance to capitalise on the absence of the superstar three-year-old.
Mick Price’s well-backed colt Ajeeb set the pace up front but Ferlax was never too far away with Stephen Baster aboard.
Ajeeb led into the straight and when a run came down the inside Baster called upon his mount who was too strong for the fast-finishing You’re So Good and Sheer Talent.
The son of Pentire followed a non-traditional path to get to the stallion-making Group 1 race, arriving on the back of wins at Benalla and Sale.
The emerging galloper convinced his trainer to throw him into Group 1 company after an impressive piece of trackwork on Tuesday.
“It was just great, I galloped him on Tuesday, I sat him just back off a horse and gee he gave me a great feel,” Conlan said.
“I thought we should probably have a crack at it but I was worried obviously about All Too Hard.
“I was mixing the feeds when I was listening to the radio when I heard the sad news [All Too Hard’s scratching] for Team Hawkes. I thought, that gives us a real chance.”
Conlan is still weighing up options for Ferlax but suggested possibilities include the Group 1 2013 All Aged Stakes at the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and the Group 1 2013 Stradbroke Handicap at the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
Stephen Baster picked up the ride in the absence of of the suspended Daniel Stackhouse and was impressed with the performance.
“I haven’t ridden for Jim for a long time but he put the faith in me,” Baster said.
“This horse is obviously going to on.
“He’s a lovely horse to ride…he’s going to be a very good horse.”
The Australian Guineas may be over for another year but the autumn racing is just heating up.
Australian Guineas 2013 – Results
|1||13||FERLAX (NZ)||Jim Conlan||Stephen Baster||–||8||56.5kg||$17|
|2||16||YOU’RE SO GOOD (NZ)||Nigel Blackiston||Vlad Duric||0.5L||10||54.5kg||$9.50|
|3||5||SHEER TALENT||Mark Kavanagh||Michael Rodd||1.25L||15||56.5kg||$9|
|4||3||HVASSTAN||Peter Gelagotis||Craig Newitt||2.5L||11||56.5kg||$15|
|5||10||BASS STRAIT (NZ)||David Hayes||Chad Schofield (a)||2.6L||2||56.5kg||$14|
|6||4||PHILIPPI||Michael Kent||Brad Rawiller||3.85L||6||56.5kg||$6.50|
|7||12||AJEEB (NZ)||Mick Price||Glen Boss||4.05L||9||56.5kg||$6F|
|8||15||HIGH SHOT (NZ)||Michael Kent||Craig Williams||5.05L||1||56.5kg||$13|
|9||9||FORCE COMMAND||Greg Eurell||Brent Evans||5.15L||13||56.5kg||$19|
|10||2||ALBRECHT||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||6.4L||5||56.5kg||$7.50|
|11||6||GRAND EMPEROR||Dean Howard||Ryan Maloney||6.5L||4||56.5kg||$31|
|12||8||SUBIASO||Robbie Laing||Noel Callow||7L||3||56.5kg||$31|
|13||14||HIGH ESTEEM||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||7.4L||7||56.5kg||$41|
|14||17e||PRAKTICALITY||Troy Portelli||Dean Yendall||8.9L||12||56.5kg||$151|
|15||11||HOSTING||Greg Eurell||Chris Symons||10.15L||14||56.5kg||$18|