Dictating terms from start to finish, talented gelding Hard Stride has led from start to finish to beat a talented field to the line in the 2014 Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield Racecourse this afternoon.
Jumping from the gates well, the Street Sense gelding immediately took up the pace over the back straight, setting only a fair tempo ahead of Jemerica and pre-post favourite Thiamandi; upping the pace slightly rounding the bend.
Finding the final straight in the clear, Hard Stride comfortably spooled up and sprinter clear of the pack, finishing more than two lengths in the clear of three-time Group 1 champion Moment Of Change; Club Command running on for third.
Co-trainer Simon Zahra was on hand to witness Hard Stride’s impressive performance in the Regal Roller Stakes, and said that while completing his 13th start this preparation this afternoon, plans are yet to be made as to whether or not the four-year-old will press on further through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
“Jeez he rode him beautifully and really gave it to him up the straight,” Zahra said of renowned jockey Craig Williams’ ride on Hard Stride.
“Credit to the horse, I think he’s at about his 12th or 13th run for the preparation.
“He always runs well here, he was really well weighted and was very good so a lot of ticks today.
“We say it every start that he’s going to the paddock, going to the paddock but he just comes home, licks the bin and looks fantastic.
“We just poke him around at home and keep him going.”
Williams delivered a typically exceptional ride on Hard Stride in the 2014 Regal Roller Stakes, crediting the team of Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra for the four-year-old’s condition.
“He had a nice run in front and even though he’s had a long preparation you can see they really know their horse and they’ve got him happy and well,” Williams said.
“He’s always very versatile and over-anticipated the start last time but usually puts himself there. Today he stepped really well and put himself in front.
“We were able to have a nice run there and he really enjoyed running the whole straight at Caulfield today and the last little bit even when I gave him a slap he ran away a bit.”
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