Racing: Burgundy regains best form to help replenish big buyer's wallet

By Mike Dillon

Burgundy (second from right) beats St Yazin in the Coolmore Australia Mr Tiz Trophy at Ellerslie on Saturday. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Burgundy (second from right) beats St Yazin in the Coolmore Australia Mr Tiz Trophy at Ellerslie on Saturday. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Jason Bridgman's smile meant something.

David Ellis' smile meant something else.

The joy for both was obvious.

Bridgman, under extreme pressure to get a result with Burgundy, landed it in spades when the high-priced colt sat three wide without cover, fought a home-straight battle and walked away with the $50,000 Coolmore Australia Mr Tiz Trophy at Ellerslie on Saturday.

David Ellis got his reward in his wallet.

"I had the biggest bet on Burgundy I've had since I backed my horse Distinctly Secret when [Sydney bookie} Robbie Waterhouse operated at Te Rapa in 2001.

"Well, okay, $7000 at $5. I don't bet a lot, but that's the confidence I have in this colt," said Ellis.

Burgundy looked to struggle with the 1600m when stepped up to that level, and he was freshened.

There has been an enormous amount of pressure to get Burgundy into winning form and Jason Bridgman knew why it had happened.

"We were trying to get this horse to run 2000m and he wasn't ready for it.

"At this point of his career he's a sprinter-miler and we'll keep him to that."

Burgundy should not have won. He sat three wide in mid-field without cover and had the cheek to battle back successfully in the closing stages when he should have been defeated.

The courage he displayed was the stuff of top-class horses.

"When I got to that horse that ran second, he really pinned his ears back and fought," said Matt Cameron.

"He is something else this bloke, doing what he did."

Jason Bridgman was the least surprised.

"There has never been any question about the fight in this horse, he will eventually run 1600m very successfully, but until now he has not known how to do it," said Bridgman.

Ellis, who bought $7 million worth of horseflesh at the recent Karaka Yearling Sales, felt the investment was completely justified when he got results like Burgundy and getting Warhorse to win the $200,000 Diamond Stakes on protest.

* Max Whitby is one of those guys.

You know, Sydneysider, bit of lip, larger than life and a backward step is not in the dictionary.

Whitby, as big as he is, was a bit subdued after his high-quality mare Scarlett Lady got over the top of a gallant Veyron in the $200,000 New Zealand Stakes.

Maybe it was how hard Veyron fought his classy mare.

Maybe it was what went wrong in the spring. Probably it was what might happen in the Caulfield-Melbourne Cup this year.

Scarlett Lady is classy, but it didn't happen for her last year after a remarkable run of form at the Queensland winter carnival.

"Nothing went right for her in the spring," said co-trainer Debbie Rogerson as she waited for Scarlett Lady to return.

Funny thing about spring, it keeps coming around every year.

- NZ Herald

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