A heavy Randwick track today proved no worries for Counterattack who won the first race on George Main Stakes Day, the Listed 100,000 Schweppes Heritage Stakes (1100m).
Veteran jockey Jim Cassidy settled the Chris Waller trained Counterattack ($5) in the second half of the eight horse field before skirting wide in the straight to claim the leader and equal favourite Haptic ($3.10) in the run to the line to score by a length and a half.
Third placegetter Takedown ($12) ran on the at the end while equal favourite Redzel ($3.10) made a dash from the back over the rise but faded over the concluding stages to miss a place in fifth spot.
Counterattack was having his first run back since a Brisbane Winter Carnival campaign and Waller said that the half-brother to noted wet tracker and Group 1 winner Red Tracer had returned to Sydney a much more mature race horse.
“He always had the writing on the wall of being a really nice horse and he went to Brisbane looking like a foal and has come back looking like an adult horse now and I guess that trip away and a bit of warmth in Winter it certainly helps,” Waller said.
“Red Tracer is certainly dynamite in the wet, but they won on good tracks as well so we never like to admit that they are just wet trackers.”
Waller will now set Counterattack for the Group 2 $300,000 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on October 3 before heading to Melbourne for the three year old races.
“The Roman Consul was always the plan. This is the race we picked out once we left Brisbane, just to give him a bit of extra time and we might head to Melbourne if he is still going well.”
Heritage Stakes results
|1||4||COUNTERATTACK||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||–||6||56kg||$5|
|2||2||HAPTIC||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||1.5L||2||58kg||$3.10EF|
|3||1||TAKEDOWN||Gary Moore||Kerrin McEvoy||2.8L||5||59kg||$12|
|4||3||ZOUTENANT||Kevin Moses||Blake Shinn||3.4L||8||56kg||$17|
|5||5||REDZEL||Peter & Paul Snowden||Hugh Bowman||4.8L||7||56kg||$3.10EF|
|6||8||REALISE POTENTIAL||John P Thompson||Tye Angland||6.4L||4||56kg||$12|
|7||10||NOT A CHERRY||Anthony Cummings||Tim Clark||8.6L||3||54kg||$18|
|8||9||BACK TO JACKO||Benjamin Smith||Mitchell Bell||9.3L||1||56kg||$81|