Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
The undefeated Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr-trained Immortal Love has returned a first-up winner at Caulfield on Memsie Stakes Day kicking off his Caulfield Guineas 2020 campaign with a win in the Group 3 $160,000 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes (1200m).
The Snitzel gelding went out a back-to-back winner in easier company over the winter and was impressive first-up in a three-way photo thriller defeating the Danny O’Brien-trained Flying Award (2nd) and returning Blue Diamond winner Tagaloa (34d) in the HDF McNeil Stakes 2020.
Ridden to victory by Craig Newitt who made it three-from-three on the progressive youngster, Immortal Love retained his undefeated status ahead of his shot at the Group 1 $2 million Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 10.
“He did a great job,” Price said.
“And you can add about three lengths to his form if he does get a wet track.
“He’s a gelding. He’s uncomplicated. Fantastic.”
Co-trainer Mick Price confirmed next-up plans for Immortal Love who will now head towards the Listed $140,000 Exford Plate (1400m) at Flemington September 12 and then into the Group 3 $250,000 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) a fortnight after that.
“He’ll go to the Exford in two weeks, then the Guineas Prelude and then the Caulfield Guineas,” he said.
“Remember his second start at Flemington, he was quite dominant there on a wet track so if they’re lucky enough to get a wet track for him, as I said, you can add about three lengths.”
Hard Landing led them around in the HDF McNeil Stakes with the favourite Tagaloa settled third then second throughout.
On the home straight Extra Time moved up to make it a line of three at the 250m before Newitt came flying down the outside on Immortal Love.
Extra Time and Tagaloa went stride from stride over the final furlong before the challenges from the back came inside the last 50m to turn it into a three-way photo thriller.
Right on the line, Immortal Love just got over the top of Flying Award in a diving finish, while Tagaloa was brave holding for third with the big weight.
Beaten favourite in the HDF McNeil, Tagaloa also heads towards the Caulfield Guineas a hopeful stepping-stone into the Group 1 $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley a fortnight later.
Last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival Super Seth (2019) won the HDF McNeil Stakes before claiming the scalp of brilliant Queenslander Alligator Blood three runs later in the Caulfield Guineas.
2020 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes Results
|1||10||IMMORTAL LOVE||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Craig Newitt||4||57kg||$9.50|
|2||7||FLYING AWARD||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||0.1L||6||58kg||$10|
|3||1||TAGALOA||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Michael Walker||0.2L||8||59.5kg||$3.40F|
|4||4||EXTRA TIME||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Jamie Kah||0.4L||12||58.5kg||$31|
|5||11||RANTING (NZ)||Leon & Troy Corstens||Dwayne Dunn||0.8L||10||57kg||$17|
|6||9||CROSSHAVEN||Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes||Daniel Stackhouse||1L||2||57kg||$8.50|
|7||8||KHOEKHOE||Matt Cumani||Fred W Kersley||3.5L||7||57kg||$18|
|8||6||RATHLIN||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Jye McNeil||3.8L||3||58kg||$15|
|9||14||NATIONAL CHOICE||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Michael Dee||4L||13||57kg||$14|
|10||2||HARD LANDING||Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes||Craig Williams||4.75L||11||58.5kg||$31|
|11||13||THE LAST CHARGE||Kevin Corstens||Beau Mertens||4.85L||9||57kg||$101|
|12||16||LOCA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Damian Lane||5.85L||1||57kg||$51|
|13||5||LARIMER STREET||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Michael Rodd||6.05L||5||58kg||$51|
|14||3||OUR PLAYBOY||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Ben Melham||7.05L||14||58.5kg||$6.50|
|15||15||BRANDERS RULE||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||7.35L||15||57kg||$31|
|12||ALBARADO (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Jordan Childs||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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