In a thrilling edition of the 2013 Blamey Stakes at Flemington Racecourse this afternoon two ace stayers have had to share first prize with Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune and gallant South Australian raider Budriguez dead heating in the fourth.
It took over five minutes for the photo result to be declared in the $220,000 Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m), a race that could prove a valuable guide looking ahead to the longer distanced features of both the autumn and the spring carnivals.
In the end there was nothing separating the shared winners with the Darren Weir-trained Puissance De Lune having made up ground after getting caught in traffic to fly down the outside and hit the line simultaneously with the all-the-way leader Budriguez from the Goolwa stables of David Jolly.
Smart grey Shamardal stallion Puissance De Lune entered 2013 Melbourne Cup calculations last spring with a massive eight length win in the Bendigo Cup and a similarly impressive five length success in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day.
As such they were installed as the $11 favourite in the pre-nomination Melbourne Cup betting odds prior to their resuming run today, and based on their brave run will have gained even more fans.
Having been backed into $3.50 favouritism over Kiwi stayer Wall Street ($5) in today’s Blamey Stakes, Puissance De Lune jumped away well down on the outside with Glen Boss back in the saddle settling in fifth.
A fast pace meanwhile was set by Budriguez and Craig Williams who was fresh off wins in the opening two Newmarket Handicap Day races.
Maintaining a strong gallop six-year-old Al Maher gelding Budriguez held their front-running position until the final stride in a brave staying effort down the imposing Flemington track.
Second favourite Wall Street meanwhile was given every chance third on the inside but couldn’t get there in the end finishing best of the rest behind the co-Blamey Stakes winners.
It was an unlucky run by the favourite who couldn’t get through on the straight finding themselves caught in traffic.
Once they did get out however they flew home on the outside just missing out by the bob of the head behind the always honest Budriguez.
“I got slightly held up by a couple of horses going a bit slow,” Boss said after the race.
“He whipped home but and he made up three lengths very very quickly, he comes that quick.”
Had Puissance De Lune got out of trouble 50 metres earlier there is little doubt they would have won and won well, the five-year-old set for big things this prep and looking ahead to the spring in Melbourne where they will be aimed at the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November – a race Boss firmly believes they can win.
“He’s come back looking identically to when he left,” Boss said.
“He’s an athletic colt and he just backed up what I thought he could do, he wasn’t expected to do that first-up.
“That’s the least of his distance he’ll be competitive at, you wait till he gets up over a trip.”
Happy to share the winnings was Williams who rated Budriguez a very good horse as they matched it with the Melbourne Cup favourite.
“We’ll take it as a win,” Williams said.
“I was really happy, it’s a big imposing straight Flemington for a front running horse.
“It was no mean feat going past the line with him (Puissance De Lune).
“I just had a lot of respect for the grey horse and I could see him for enough time to think he would get there.
“To my fella’s credit he really dug in and I just had to risk letting him ride out.”
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2013 Blamey Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 4 – 09/03/2013
|1||2||BUDRIGUEZ||David Jolly||Craig Williams||–||3||58kg||$12|
|1||1||PUISSANCE DE LUNE (IRE)||Darren Weir||Glen Boss||–||1||59kg||$3.50F|
|3||7||WALL STREET (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Steven Arnold||0.4L||7||55kg||$5.50|
|4||6||CALLANISH (NZ)||Mick Price||Dale Smith||0.7L||5||57kg||$7.50|
|5||9||WILLY JIMMY||Guy Walter||Nicholas Hall||1.95L||4||55kg||$9.50|
|6||8||MALUCKYDAY (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||2.35L||2||55kg||$11|
|7||4||VATUVEI||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||2.55L||6||58kg||$61|
|8||5||DANY THE FOX (NZ)||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||2.95L||9||58kg||$9.50|
|9||3||MUTUAL TRUST (GB)||Sam Pritchard-Gordon||Noel Callow||3.15L||8||58kg||$13|