The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Warrnambool trainer Matthew Williams is aiming high next autumn for his Eclipse Stakes 2016 winner Turnitaround with a possible Australian Cup target in order next time in.
The six-year-old son of Hard Spun had excuses on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington last start when caught wide from a nasty barrier (14 of 16) before finishing 10th to Fabrizio in the Listed Cup Day Plate (1800m).
Williams was hoping for a better barrier at Ladbrokes Park on Zipping Classic Day for his consistent gelding, whose other latest run this prep was a third to Voodoo Lad at Caulfield in the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m).
He didn’t quite get that however, with Turnitaround drawing gate 14 (moving into 13) in the $150,000 Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m).
The stable was able to book champion hoop Hugh Bowman for the ride in place of Dean Yendall however, and he was able overcome the wide alley to post his maiden Sandown win.
“It’s good for Hughie to get one here,” Williams said post-win.
“The way he had the horse so relaxed in the run…occasionally it all goes to plan.
“We thought if we had of drew a gate today we’d be coming in confident of a top three run…Hugh overcome that [the wide draw] and all has gone to plan well.”
Turnitaround was forced to race up and settle into second behind the leader Plot The Course without any genuine speed in the race.
Bowman kept him there on speed throughout the run, with the favourite Cool Chap getting the box seat third on his inside with the nice trail.
Once on the home straight Turnitaround tackled Plot The Course and hit the front, while the Darren Weir-trained High Church with Yendall aboard was flying home hard and fast.
In the end Turnitaround was right on the money for the punters who backed him in from $12 to a $9.50 starting price at Ladbrokes.com.au.
He had a narrow margin to spare over High Church ($21), while the fellow Weir-trained Lidari ($8.50) carrying the 59kg top weight poked through late for third finishing off the Eclipse Stakes trifecta.
It was a tough and deserving stakes win for Turnitaround who hung on well after the lovely on speed ride from Bowman, the horse peaking third-up to enjoy his eighth career win at start number 34.
“I wasn’t expecting to be that close up today but there was just no tempo,” winning hoop Bowman said.
“He relaxed beautifully and picked up at the 600m.
“He really let down at the 300m when I asked for a supreme effort.
“He’s a beautiful consistent horse.”
Williams said with Turnitaround’s ratings going up it was getting harder to place him, but that he could be keen to shoot for the $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 11 during the 2017 Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
“We’ll have a little think about it,” he said.
“With his ratings going up it’s harder and harder to place him.
“We’ll be staying in these sort of stakes races now.
“He’s won at 2000 [meters] before…so certainly the 2000 and the way he switched off today we might aim for the Australian Cup or something like that.”
To back the Eclipse Stakes winner Turnitaround during the autumn at the right price visit the country’s leading bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au now.
2016 Eclipse Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Sandown Race 9 – 12/11/2016
|1||2||TURNITAROUND||Matthew Williams||Hugh Bowman||–||12||58.5kg||$9.50|
|2||12||HIGH CHURCH (IRE)||Darren Weir||Dean Yendall||0.3L||7||54kg||$21|
|3||1||LIDARI (FR)||Darren Weir||John Allen||0.7L||5||59kg||$8.50|
|4||14||PLOT THE COURSE||Michael Trotter||Damian Lane||0.8L||4||54kg||$12|
|5||11||ALASKAN ROSE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Patrick Moloney||2.05L||8||54kg||$7.50|
|6||13||COOL CHAP||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Kerrin McEvoy||2.25L||2||54kg||$4.20F|
|7||9||LORD VAN PERCY (GB)||Darren Weir||Luke Nolen||3L||11||55kg||$26|
|8||5||AUVRAY (FR)||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||3.1L||1||57kg||$101|
|9||8||TUCANCHOO (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||4.1L||13||56kg||$7|
|10||3||JACQUINOT BAY||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Craig Williams||4.3L||6||58kg||$9.50|
|11||7||MAGNAPAL||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Luke Currie||4.4L||10||56.5kg||$21|
|12||10||GABELLA (FR)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Damien Oliver||4.6L||9||54kg (cd 54.5kg)||$18|
|13||6||DESERT JEUNEY||Nigel Blackiston||Glyn Schofield||11.6L||3||56.5kg||$18|
|–||15||TEMPS VOLEUR||Robbie Laing||Jake Bayliss (a)||–||0||–||–|
|–||4||PUCCINI (NZ)||Wayne Walters||Stephen Baster||–||0||–||–|
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