America’s Breeders’ Cup Calls WJ Healy 2021 Winner Away Game

June 26, 2021

America’s Breeders’ Cup Calls WJ Healy 2021 Winner Away Game

The Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained Away Game was back in winning form taking out the 2021 WJ Healy Stakes in Brisbane ahead of a potential trip to America for the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar this November.

Away Game Horse Form (Photo: Steve Hart) | Races.com.au

Away Game (pictured in Sydney) was back to winning form in Brisbane’s 2021 WJ Healy Stakes. Photo: Steve Hart.

The now three-year-old Snitzel filly celebrated her first win since backing up from a Golden Slipper second to win last year’s Group 2 Percy Sykes Stakes during the 2020 The Championships in Sydney.

Away Game took her record up to five wins at her 14th start in the card closer at Eagle Farm on Tattersall’s Tiara Day, hitting another gear late to claim the Group 3 $175,000 WJ Healy Stakes (1200m) thanks to a patient ride by Stephanie Thornton.

Best known for her $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic win as a juvenile, the talented and still lightly-raced filly improved second-up off her Hinkler Handicap third when beating home the Godolphin-raced Exhilarates ($10) by a neck.

Thornton allowed Away Game ($4.60) to settle three wide in the second half of the field throughout as In Good Time lead them around in the Healy.

With 450m left to travel, the in-form Usmanov chasing a third win on the trot was off and away out to a big lead onto the straight.

Away Game meanwhile was working well down the outside and, as Usmanov began to tire at the 200m, Thornton went right to the outside on the second-favourite and flew home to salute for the punters making up six lengths from the top of the straight to the finishing post.

“She’s a really good horse. Most of our horses improve second-up and really good ride by Steph Thornton,” co-trainer Maher told Sky Thoroughbred Central.

“We were confident to ride her a little bit quiet today and wait for that turn of foot and she got it spot on.”

Brilliant late in an exciting finish, Away Game and Exhilarates were followed over the line by the fellow Maher & Eustace-trained  Bella Nipotina ($7.50) who ran a close third with the Tattersall’s Tiara winning hoop Craig Williams in the saddle.

Maher said the Breeders’ Cup could be on the cards for Away Game at the end of the year, the filly part-owned by connections in America.

“She may get a ticket from this to go over to the Breeders’ Cup,” he said.

“That might be just the ticket she needs to get over there and have a crack at a Breeders’ Cup.”

The 2021 Breeders’ Cup Classic runs on November 7th (Australian time) at Del Mar in San Diego.

All-in betting at Ladbrokes.com.au on the Breeders’ Cup is available here.

2021 WJ Healy Stakes Results & Finishing Order

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Penalty Starting Price
1 6 AWAY GAME Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Ms Stephanie Thornton 9 54.5kg $4.60
2 3 EXHILARATES James Cummings Ryan Maloney 0.3L 3 58kg $10
3 15 BELLA NIPOTINA Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Craig Williams 0.4L 7 54kg $7.50
4 8 KING OF HASTINGS Anthony & Sam Freedman Jim Byrne 1.9L 8 54.5kg $8
5 2 USMANOV Toby & Trent Edmonds Baylee Nothdurft 2L 1 59kg $15
6 9 JEN RULES Peter & Paul Snowden Bobby El-Issa 2.2L 6 54kg $4.40F
7 14 DOCTOR ZOUS Darryl Hansen Ben Thompson 3.45L 12 54kg $51
8 5 HIGHTAIL Peter & Paul Snowden James Orman 4.45L 10 55.5kg $11
9 10 HAIL MANHATTAN Peter & Will Hulbert Ron Stewart 4.55L 11 54kg $26
10 11 HILO Gillian Heinrich Michael Cahill 4.85L 2 54kg $26
11 12 IN GOOD TIME Tracey Bartley Mark Du Plessis 5.6L 5 54kg $51
12 7 ZANIAH Kris Lees Andrew Mallyon 7.6L 13 54.5kg $13
13 4 REDOUBLE Sonja Kumpikas Paul Hammersley 7.8L 4 58kg $71
SB 13 INANUP Barry Lockwood Robbie Fradd 0 54kg
1 BALLER Tony Gollan James McDonald 0

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