The gun trainer-jockey partnership of New Zealand’s Murray Baker and Opie Bosson down under this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival continued on Cox Plate Day with the stable’s Seymour Cup winner only six days earlier Turn Me Loose backing up to earn an Emirates Stakes start taking out the Crystal Mile 2015.
A Group 1 winner back home in the NZ 2000 Guineas over the mile last November, Iffraaj stallion Turn Me Loose won at his second Australian start last Sunday in the Listed Seymour Cup (1600m) by over three lengths.
That followed just a day after stablemate Mongolian Khan earned a shot at the ‘race that stops a nation’ on the first Tuesday of November over the two miles at Flemington with success in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) leading up to the 2015 Melbourne Cup.
Less than a week after his Seymour Cup success, four-year-old Turn Me Loose made it three-from-three over 1600m with a runaway victory in the weight-for-age $200,000 Group 2 Schweppes Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley.
Bosson kicked up from the inside alley on the eventual Crystal Mile winner and took Turn Me Loose to the front early to lead from Strawberry Boy.
He set a strong pace and eventually won in a very quick 1.35.02, which is just 0.3 seconds outside the course record.
Turn Me Loose led into the turn with the last-start Toorak Handicap winner and short-priced winner Lucky Hussler poised ready to make a move as the bunched up in front.
Kicking into the turn though Turn Me Loose put a gap on his rivals, Lucky Hussler chasing down the outside with Glen Boss trying to wind up on the Darren Weir-trained top fancy.
Also coming late in an outstanding finish was the John O’Shea-trained import Bow Creek, the Shamardal stallion having his first run down under with James McDonald on his back.
In the end Turn Me Loose ($4.20) was too good and ran the perfect trial ticking over for the $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 7 – All American (2009) the last Emirates Stakes winner to have a final lead-up run in the Crystal Mile when third in the Moonee Valley Group 2.
Turn Me Loose held off a hard-closing and powerful Bow Creek ($17), who had great late sectionals and was a big drifter in the markets out from $8 earlier in the week, in an outstanding performance – both shaping up as ace 2016 Cox Plate chances for next spring.
Finishing off the Crystal Mile Trifecta in third was the always-consistent Lucky Hussler ($2.10) who was far from disgraced as the beaten favourite and market mover.
“He does go quite keen in the first half of a race, but once he gets into a rhythm he has that really high cruising speed…and a really consistent sprint as well,” winning hoop Bosson said post-win about Turn Me Loose.
“Murray Baker does an amazing job.
“I think he’ll be in with a huge chance (in the Emirates Stakes).”
While things went amiss regarding a Cox Plate campaign this season for Turn Me Loose, Bosson remains confident the horse would eventually run out a strong 2000m.
“We think he’ll run 2000 metres,” Bosson said.
“He can run those sectionals, he’s a speed horse and a big strong colt.
“We think we are getting him right now, we’ve had a lot of trouble with him…but he’s starting to fire now so he’ll go to the Emirates.”
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2015 Crystal Mile Results & Finishing Order
Moonee Valley Race 8 – 24/10/2015
|1||11||TURN ME LOOSE (NZ)||Murray Baker||Opie Bosson||–||1||58.5kg||$4.20|
|2||6||BOW CREEK (IRE)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||0.5L||4||59kg||$17|
|3||1||LUCKY HUSSLER||Darren Weir||Glen Boss||3L||3||59kg||$2.05F|
|4||10||MALICE||John O’Shea||James Doyle||4L||5||59kg||$151|
|5||12||WORTHY CAUSE||John Zielke||Luke Dittman (a)||4.75L||7||58.5kg||$31|
|6||7||HOPFGARTEN||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||5.75L||11||59kg||$41|
|7||4||AMOVATIO||Chris Waller||Damien Oliver||6.15L||12||59kg||$15|
|8||9||SONS OF JOHN||Jason Attard||Jeff Penza||6.25L||2||59kg||$14|
|9||8||RICHIE’S VIBE||Paul Beshara||Mark Zahra||6.35L||9||59kg||$61|
|10||5||RUDY||Helen Page||Kerrin McEvoy||6.65L||10||59kg||$81|
|11||2||HOOKED||John P Thompson||Craig Williams||8.9L||8||59kg||$26|
|12||3||STRAWBERRY BOY||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||13.9L||6||59kg||$15|