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Master Sydney trainer Chris Waller could be heading to Brisbane with two chances in the three-year-old staying features after stablemates Higher Ground and Tangled fought out the finish in Saturday’s 2018 Frank Packer Plate results at Randwick.
Waller saddled-up two single-figure hopefuls in the Group 3 $150,000 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) on All Aged Stakes Day with Snitzel colt Tangled and market mover Higher Ground bringing very different levels of experience into the set weights clash.
It was the untapped son of So You Think, Higher Ground, however who got the upper hand in the end scoring a narrow victory in is black-type debut.
The colt came off a lead-up win over the mile in a Benchmark 74 at Warwick Farm from April 11 and was impressive handling the rise in distance and class in the Frank Packer Plate.
Higher Ground, backed in at Ladbrokes.com.au from $7 to $5.50, was ridden to victory by jockey Glyn Schofield who had the galloper settled around fifth as the roughie hope Savvy Ken got out to a huge lead up front.
Tangled meanwhile had the in-form Michael Walker in the saddle again, the horse and hoop combo having had a brilliant Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign that produced a Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) second and last start third in the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m).
Walker was travelling around midfield on Tangled about sixth, just behind the Mick Price-trained favourite Holy Snow.
At the 600m Savvy Ken came back to the field as they bunched around the turn for home.
In a tactical move, Walker went up and cut the corner on Tangled making up plenty of ground, while Holy Snow and his hoop Mark Zahra got to the outside.
Fastnet Rock colt Holy Snow, on the back of a third in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) from April 7, was showing great big strides up the rise.
Tangled on the fence though was the danger, before Higher Ground got his run up the centre and they along with Holy Snow fought it out in a three way battle to the finishing post.
The Waller-trained quinella went to Higher Ground in a photo, Tangled second the inside and Holy Snow on their outside in third rounding out the Frank Packer Plate trifecta.
“The photo doesn’t lie, but I wasn’t sure if I’d won,” Schofield said post-race.
“He’s taken a big step today this fella…it was nice for him to show a bit of fight.
“I thought when he changed his legs 100m from home he was just going to surge to the lead and run away from them, but the second horse obviously has Group 1 form and it’s hard to get away from those horses who have performed well at the top level.
Waller could now be tempted to head up to Queensland for the winter riches in the Sunshine State over the coming months with his Frank Packer Plate top two.
To back Higher Ground next race at the right price head to Ladbrokes.com.au today.
2018 Frank Packer Plate Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 4 – 21/04/2018
|1||5||HIGHER GROUND||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||–||1||56.5kg||$5.50|
|2||1||TANGLED||Chris Waller||Michael Walker||0.1L||5||56.5kg||$6|
|3||3||HOLY SNOW||Mick Price||Mark Zahra||0.6L||6||56.5kg||$3.90F|
|4||7||ICON OF DUBAI||Peter & Paul Snowden||Hugh Bowman||2.3L||10||56.5kg||$11|
|5||12||SAVVY KEN (NZ)||Clare Cunningham||Jason Collett||2.8L||7||56.5kg||$41|
|6||6||TEMPRADO||Peter & Paul Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||2.9L||2||56.5kg||$9|
|7||8||PRIMITIVO||John P Thompson||Blake Shinn||3.3L||9||56.5kg||$8|
|8||4||DISSOLUTION||Brad Widdup||Christian Reith||6L||3||56.5kg||$6.50|
|9||9||GODUNOV||Gerald Ryan||Joshua Parr||7.4L||8||56.5kg||$31|
|10||11||YURALLA BOY||Todd Howlett||Ms Mikayla Weir (a)||9.1L||4||56.5kg||$81|
|–||2||ASTORIA||James Cummings||Tye Angland||–||0||–||–|
|–||10||LOVE WAVES (NZ)||Anthony & Edward Cummings||Corey Brown||–||0||–||–|
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