Racing: Extravagant Flemington failure for fans

By Mike Dillon

Xtravagant. Photo / Race Images
Xtravagant. Photo / Race Images

What caused Xtravagant to race so poorly in Saturday's A$200,000 Bobby Lewis remains a mystery for the time being.

The handsome entire was never travelling properly down Flemington's straight 1200m and rider Damien Oliver, thinking something was amiss, pulled him up.

"But Damien said when he trotted him back to the mounting yard, he felt perfect in his action," said co-trainer Stephen Autridge, who returned home yesterday morning.

"We can't find anything wrong with him. He was scoped after the race and that showed nothing."

Co-trainer Jamie Richards said a stable staff member will ride Xtravagant at Flemington today after which more could be known.

"Then we will have a team talk and see what we can come up with."

Co-trainer Murray Baker is unsure whether Saracino will manage the 1600m of the A$1 million Caulfield Guineas after the colt's game win in Saturday's A$200,000 Danehill Stakes.

"He could just be a sprinter.

"He'll run in the 1400m Guineas Prelude and that should give us an indication of how he'll manage the 1600m. He's out of an O'Reilly mare, so hopefully he'll get over 1600m."

Baker was surprised Saracino led almost throughout the straight 1200m. "He had to drag the field up from a long way out."

New Zealand's Sofia Rosa was outsped early in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m). She finished off nicely from the 200m and is looking for a bit further and a wet track.

Heroic Valour may not have looked spectacular winning Saturday's $50,000 Tavistock Northland Breeders Stakes, but it was a lot better than it appeared.

The handsome colt does not win his races by much, but he gets there.

And don't underestimate the class of the opposition.

Heroic Valour was in the one-one at the 500m, but became awkwardly placed and Matt Cameron had to find a path through a wall of horses halfway down the running.

There was no zip sprint in the final stages, but with a bustling Cameron doing what he does best, the colt knuckled down to get the job done. He will be much better off when he gets to 1600m and possibly beyond.

The Soultaker turned in a big run for second, coming from second last and forced to go wide on the turn. He finished powerfully, almost alongside stablemate Wyndspelle. Follow up the form from this race.

Ruakaka debut juvenile winner Global Thinking looks so much like her talented sire So You Think the Shaune Ritchie stable staff nickname her "Mini Me". "There is not a lot of her, but what there is, is nicely proportioned," says Ritchie.

"You never quite know what you're going to get when they go straight to the races without a barrier trial. She wasn't that flash away from the gates when she had a jumpout, but she got down low and drove late, so we were hopeful and she chased hard again."

Ritchie is delighted to get some good stakemoney in the bank looking forward to the Karaka Million.

"We can sit back now and plan the race we want to leapfrog from if her form justifies it."

- NZ Herald

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