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What You Missed At Royal Randwick

By Mark Brassel

The seven rivals of Savatiano faced 'mission impossible' as the filly demolished her opposition in today's McCarthy Homes Handicap (1200m).

Josh Parr sports a cheeky grin as Savatiano wins with ease at Royal Randwick. Image by Steve Hart Photographics

The race was virtually handed to the three-year-old when one of her main rivals, Zonk ($5.50), reared as the starter let them go and was three lengths last.

Meanwhile, Josh Parr allowed the well-backed Savatiano ($2.80 into $2.50 favourite) to take up the running and was never headed, scoring by just under five lengths.

Punters Intel showed what an impossible task the opposition faced as Savatiano sizzled home in 34.09 seconds for the final 600m, breaking 11 seconds (10.96 secs) for her final 200m.

Those figures gave the filly's rivals zero chance of picking her up.

Representing the James Cummings stable, Darren Beadman said: "She's a lovely filly and we think there'll be a nice Stakes race for her down the track.

"James has placed her well and a win like this will give the filly a lot of confidence."


Watch Savatiano make a mess of her rivals at Royal Randwick

Brenton Avdulla was the star of the show with four winners after Dreamforce ($16) scored a surprise first-up win in the Man Shake Handicap (1100m).

Avdulla brought the sprinter with a well-timed run to narrowly beat the heavily-backed I Thought So ($2.40 favourite).

Trainer John Thompson said: "He's been going well but we thought today's race would be too short for him.

"We kept him nice and fresh and he ran over the top of them late."


Dreamforce flashes home to score at Royal Randwick

Avdulla had posted his treble when Live and Free bolted in with the Wilson Asset Management Handicap (2000m).

Live and Free ($2.30 favourite) was patiently ridden by Avdulla and stormed down the centre of the course to win going away from Ombudsman (Jay Ford, $11), with Merovee (Blake Shinn, $7) third.

The win was the perfect tonic for part-owners Gary Manning and wife Julie, with Gary watching from his hospital bed.

The pair had been driving home from a rugby league match when just minutes from home, their car veered off the road and hit a tree.

Julie told the Daily Telegraph's Ray Thomas: "When doctors first assessed Gary, they feared the worst. His rib cage was smashed, every rib cracked or broken.

"His sternum was cracked. He needed his thyroid and a gland removed. His condition was so severe he was put on a ventilator to assist with his breathing and placed in an induced coma.

“If it wasn’t for our seatbelts and airbags, we wouldn’t be talking to you now,’’ Julie said. "We would be six feet under."


Live and Free motors to the line at Royal Randwick

Avdulla had earlier secured his second winner for the day with the well-fancied Bastia taking out the EML Handicap (1600m).

Avdulla had earlier won aboard The Autumn Sun in the opening race, the Energy Air Plate (1400m).

Avdulla said the race panned out nicely for Bastia ($3.50 favourite) after Lee Maggorian led and then took off at the 800m mark, getting five lengths clear of the field before tiring to finish last.

"It was good gallop up front and my mount felt comfortable throughout," Avdulla said.

"At the 600m my bloke really took me into the race. He appreciates the sting out of the ground and although today's track is firm, there is some give so he appreciated that."


Watch Bastia cruise home at Royal Randwick

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