The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
It was a thrilling photo-finish in the inaugural $4 million The Quokka race in WA on Saturday with the Bjorn Baker-trained Overpass posting a narrow upset over the fast-finishing favourite Amelia’s Jewel at Ascot.
Simon Miller’s Group 1 winning filly Amelia’s Jewel went out the well-backed $2.80 favourite in betting on the latest slot-race and the opening edition of WA’s richest event.
She was brave in defeat but ultimately had to settle for second after going down by the barest of margins to Vancouver four-year-old Overpass ($12) having made up plenty of ground after finding herself still seven lengths off the leader at the top of the home straight.
Inside the final furlong the Northerly Stakes winning filly flashed home like nothing else lunging right on the line but just missed out on the juicy first prize for her slot holders.
Rounding out The Quokka trifecta in a close third just over a half-length off the winner was the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained mare Bella Nipotina racing for Ladbrokes.com.au who was strung up near the rails rounding the home turn before a big finish.
After going toe-for-toe with the front-running Overpass around the final bend, Asfoora held on to complete the first four in a gallant performance.
Overpass won The Quokka 2023 first-up for RAM Racing Syndicate having been scratched from the TJ Smith Stakes earlier in the month and kept fresh for the $4 million feature.
It proved a winning move avoiding the Heavy-rated track in Sydney with the first-up specialist getting conditions to suit in Perth.
The Quokka result also saw Overpass break a lengthy winning drought with the galloper enjoying his first turf triumph since the Inglis Sprint down the Flemington straight in March last year.
It was a lovely ride from winning hoop Joshua Parr to rain on the local’s parade.
Overpass jumped a treat and landed in front leading all-the-way before edging out the Perth-trained top fancy and secure the $2 million winners’ cheque.
“I did a bit of yelling and screaming there, I got a bit pumped up, but what a thrill to come here to WA and take out the inaugural Quokka,” Parr told Sky Thoroughbred Central post-victory.
“It’s obviously such great prize money on offer and I had a horse prepared for me immaculately.
“I grew so much confidence when I saw him in the yard. He cantered down to the start like his usual bold self and when I was able to find the front on a horse that likes to dictate to his terms, he was always going to be difficult to run down.
“I was really confident throughout. He found a certain rhythm that he finds when he’s on song.
“He gave a nice turn of foot but not his usual electric turn of foot and he got lost turning for home and just wandered away from the fence and it wasn’t until we were really challenged that he dug deep and found for me.
“All credit to the horse and the team. I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”
2023 The Quokka Results & Finishing Order
|1||2||OVERPASS||Bjorn Baker||Joshua Parr||8||58.5kg||$12|
|2||14||AMELIA’S JEWEL||Simon A Miller||Patrick Carbery||0.04L||14||54.5kg||$2.80F|
|3||10||BELLA NIPOTINA||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ben Melham||0.64L||6||56.5kg||$4.60|
|4||12||ASFOORA||Henry Dwyer||Mitchell Aitken||0.87L||12||56.5kg||$13|
|5||8||HOT ZED||Lou Luciani||Chris Parnham||1.13L||2||58.5kg||$61|
|6||6||RED CAN MAN||Steve Wolfe||Shaun McGruddy||1.57L||11||58.5kg||$26|
|7||7||RESORTMAN||Michael Lane||Brad Rawiller||2.16L||7||58.5kg||$41|
|8||4||UNCOMMON JAMES||Steven O’Dea & Matthew Hoysted||Ben Thompson||2.17L||13||58.5kg||$7.50|
|9||11||SHADES OF ROSE||Bjorn Baker||Ms Rachel King||2.19L||1||56.5kg||$21|
|10||1||KEMENTARI||James Cummings||Damien Oliver||3.18L||5||58.5kg||$16|
|11||13||BUSTLER||Neville Parnham||Steven Parnham||3.19L||9||56.5kg||$51|
|12||3||TRIX OF THE TRADE||Colin Webster||Troy Turner||3.53L||4||58.5kg||$19|
|13||5||MASSIMO||Chris & Michael Gangemi||Clint Johnston-Porter||5.21L||3||58.5kg||$101|
|14||9||WESTERN KNIGHT (NZ)||Adam Durrant||William Pike||7.35L||10||58.5kg||$51|
|18e||TITAN BLINDERS||Chris & Michael Gangemi||0|
|15e||COMFORT ME||Rhys Radford||0|
|16e||ACROMANTULA||Daniel & Ben Pearce||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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