Stratosphere has set himself up as one of the most interesting two-year-olds in the lead-up to the Golden Slipper with a terrific debut in the Canonbury Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday.
And what Punters Intel data revealed is that the colt achieved a rare feat at his first start - his fastest sectional being his final 200m.
While Performer just had the better at the finish, running 33.05 and 10.67 for his last 200m, Stratosphere was just getting warmed up.
He ran 10.76 from the 400m-200m (Performer 10.62) then 10.69 to fail narrowly in the 1100m event. If they clash over 1200m before the Slipper it’ll be interesting viewing.
The fillies ran faster overall time than the boys but they finished off much slower with Fiesta’s 34.55 and 11.42 final 200m clearly superior to her rivals.
And she copped a bit of interference too.
The horse that appeared in most black books after the Expressway Stakes was dual Group 1 winning colt Ace High who attacked the line in the manner of a horse in for a big campaign.
While his 34.42 wasn’t the fastest last 600m of the Expressway (Showtime clocked 34.26 in running second) it was a pleasing start for a horse who won’t be at his best until he gets to a mile and beyond.
He was clearly outsprinted between the 400m and 200m, losing marginal ground on the leaders, but he again clocked the second fastest last 200m (11.77) to Showtime.
Take nothing away from the winner Trapeze Artist and his last 200m of a slightly tiring 11.87 suggests there’s improvement to come.
The TAB Highway proved an interesting race with a two horse war between Acquittal, the odds-on favourite, and Mate Story who eventually gained the upper hand.
Acquittal’s tale can be told early in the race. From the 1400m-1200m and 1200m-1000m he ran almost identical splits (11.26/11.27) and they were clearly his fastest of the race.
Both horses paddled in the straight, as you’d expect, and such was the battle up front it took the gas out of most of the chasers.
Only one horse broke 35 seconds for the last 600m and that was fourth placed So It Is, who also was the only runner to beat 12 seconds (11.90) for the final 200m.
Fastest last 600m: Problem Solver 32.97
Most ground covered (in the finish): Gamblestown (2nd, +12.6m).
The Punters Intel App is available for free via iTunes for apple devices and Google play for Android and from Racing NSW website for PC’s.