Steadily building to the task over four starts this time in, Territory has displayed an exceptional turn of foot to overcome poor running position and win the Clubs NSW Handicap (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
Jumping from the gates only fairly, the Lonhro gelding was forced to settle well off the pace of early leaders Scandiva, Skip Town and Too Much Torque, who continually traded blows and the leading rounding the bend.
Finding the final straight behind a wall of runners, apprentice jockey Lester Grace showed skill beyond his years in finding a tight line between the pack and allowing Territory to spool up and hit the lead less-than 100m from the line, finishing a half-length in the clear of Skip Town and Wouldn’t It Be Nice.
Warwick Farm-based trainer Jarrod Austin was thrilled with Territory’s performance in the 2014 Clubs NSW Handicap, and revealed he was pleased to see the gelding still well within the folds of the pack rounding onto the straight.
“We were hoping for a bit of speed, which it didn’t look like there was going to be, but it ended up that everything fell into place,” Austin said.
“I have to say I was quite happy to see him still nestled amongst them at the furlong because he likes to be covered up and dash through, and he did that.”
Having also accepted a position in the field of the Group 3 Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield today for Territory, Austin said he was pleased to have taken the local option in the Clubs NSW Handicap.
“There was a couple of handy horses down there and the speed did look good for us but yeah im glad we stayed here now,” Austin added.
Young jockey Grace delivered an exceptional ride on Territory in the Clubs NSW Handicap, and complimented the seven-year-old on his final straight performance.
“A bit of patience and looking for a bit of room, and once we got that he could explode,” Grace said after dismounting.
“He’s a big horse and he does have a big sprint, it just counts to save that sprint.”
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2014 Clubs NSW Handicap Results
|1||2||TERRITORY||Jarrod Austin||Lester Grace (a2/52kg)||–||10||61kg (cd 59kg)||$8.50|
|2||5||SKIP TOWN||Matthew Smith||Blake Shinn||1L||5||58.5kg||$5.50|
|3||12||WOULDNT IT BE NICE||Paul Perry||Jeff Lloyd||1.1L||8||54kg||$8|
|4||10||EARNEST ERNEST (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Ms Winona Costin (a3/47kg)||1.2L||11||54kg (cd 51kg)||$11|
|5||8||DREAM CHOICE||Peter & Paul Snowden||Joshua Parr||1.4L||2||56.5kg||$5.50|
|6||7||SCANDIVA||Anthony Cummings||Tye Angland||1.7L||6||57kg||$10|
|7||11||WEINHOLT||Peter G Moody||Kerrin McEvoy||1.8L||9||54kg||$4F|
|8||4||BEYOND THANKFUL (IRE)||Chris Waller||Serg Lisnyy (a3/50.5kg)||2.9L||1||58.5kg (cd 55.5kg)||$21|
|9||6||ROMANTIC MOON||Bart & James Cummings||Tommy Berry||3.3L||3||57kg||$10|
|10||1||NEWS ALERT||Kevin Moses||Koby Jennings (a3/54.5kg)||5.2L||7||61kg (cd 58kg)||$101|
|11||9||TOO MUCH TORQUE (NZ)||Craig Ritchie||Jason Collett||7.8L||4||56kg||$51|