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Trainer John O’Shea and the stable enjoyed an early Black-Type win on Caulfield Cup Day with smart three-year-old Peacock getting the gun run in the Gothic Stakes 2016 to score the upset result.
With a stiff breeze on in the second, no one wanted to go up and lead the way in the $120,000 Listed Polytrack Gothic Stakes (1400m).
The hot favourite was the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Acatour coming off successive Sydney wins whose jockey Blake Shinn was up on the pace early out three wide doing the work to lead.
Pushing through the middle to settle second was Trenchant from the Paul Banks-trained Violate and Simply Invincible.
Eventually Shinn got Sebring colt Acatour to cross and sit second on the fence with the Lindsay Park-trained Valliano and jockey Damian Lane going to the lead setting a dawdling pace.
Around the bend Shinn asked Acatour to go up and challenge for the lead heading onto the straight.
Over the closing stages it was nicely-bred Lonhro colt Peacock who got the inside run, the up-and-comer last seen running third in the Listed Poseidon Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on October 2.
Violate came charging down the outside in his first run since the Caulfield Guineas Prelude eighth from September 24 and turned it into a tight affair.
Peacock ($20) got up on the fence to hit the lead with 100m to go, holding off Violate ($19) who lunged late and just missed out on the win in a photo for first with Acatour ($2.60) third in a busy finish.
It was a beautiful ride by Dunn who got the luck with cover in a race affected by the strong wind that didn’t suit the favourite Acatour up front facing the stiff breeze.
“He [Peacock] was able to sprint quickly when I needed at the top of the straight,” Dunn said post-win.
“To back-up into today we were pretty confident he’d run well.
“He does everything professionally…and he’s turned out beautifully by Godolphin.”
While four of the past seven Gothic Stakes winners have backed up to win the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) over the Flemington mile on VRC Derby Day, Peacock will be saved for an Emirates Stakes Day run.
O’Shea believes the 1400m is his peak distance and will instead save him for November 5 on the last day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival running Peacock in the $150,000 Listed Hilton Stakes (1400m).
“We came here thinking he’d be very hard to beat,” O’Shea said.
“It was a wonderful ride by Dwayne.
“He’ll go to the Hilton Stakes on the last day.
“I think seven [furlongs] is the upper limit of his distance range.”
The stable’s other two Gothic Stakes runners Morton’s Fork (5th) and Trenchant (7th) were luckless in their runs and O’Shea confirmed they would head to the 2016 Carbine Club Stakes on October 29.
To back the Godolphin spring contingent at the right price over the coming weeks head to Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Enhanced Odds (T&Cs apply).
2016 Gothic Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 2 – 15/10/2016
|1||9||PEACOCK||John O’Shea||Dwayne Dunn||–||3||55kg||$19|
|2||12||VIOLATE||Paul Banks||Damien Oliver||0.1L||8||55kg||$19|
|3||7||ACATOUR||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||0.6L||6||55kg||$2.70F|
|4||1||VALLIANO||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Damian Lane||0.8L||2||58.5kg||$13|
|5||4||MORTON’S FORK||John O’Shea||Brenton Avdulla||1.3L||5||56.5kg||$3.70|
|6||3||INSIDE AGENT (NZ)||Nigel Blackiston||Michael Walker||1.7L||1||57.5kg||$15|
|7||2||TRENCHANT||John O’Shea||Craig Williams||2.45L||4||57.5kg||$21|
|8||8||MOUNT PANORAMA||Gary Moore||Zac Purton||3.2L||11||55kg||$71|
|9||5||NIKITAS||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||4.2L||7||56kg||$8.50|
|10||14||APIATA (NZ)||David Brideoake||Luke Nolen||4.95L||10||55kg||$21|
|11||11||SIMPLY INVINCIBLE||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||Tommy Berry||6.45L||9||55kg||$81|
|–||10||MAGNAROCK||Brian Gentle||Dean Yendall||–||0||–||–|
|–||13||I’M TELLING YA||Amy Johnston||Craig Newitt||–||0||–||–|
|–||6||CURVATURE||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Kerrin McEvoy||–||0||–||–|
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