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Punter's Intelligence Wrap - Epsom Day

We all know Libertini is capable of running sizzling times when she strikes a good track and a truly run race and she found the perfect storm in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday.

Punter’s Intelligence sectional data showed, not surprisingly, that Libertini ran the fastest last 600m of the race (33.51) and final 200m (11.64) as she stopped the clock just a couple of lengths outside the course record set in the 2019 TAB Everest.

That’s where we’ll see Libertini next.

A lot has been made of the early work Nature Strip had to do to overcome another casual break from the gates.

He ran his first 600m in 33.65, a time better than a lot of final 600m splits on the day, and compared to the other 1200m event that time was close to 10 lengths faster (35.02).

Nature Strip clocked a 9.97 between the 1000m and 800m and that’s got to be getting close to as fast as you can go. However, it’s worth noting Libertini ran 10.09 for the same section.

It’s more likely Nature Strip punctured due to the effects of the respiratory issue he was found to have post-race, though it never helps when you’re breaking clocks.

To Classique Legend, whose second place certainly cost him no friends for the TAB Everest.

The grey covered more ground than any of the eight runners and a 33.95 last 600m was the third best in the race (Deprive’s 33.77 came in second).

His story is told in the middle section. He posted a 10.48 from the 800m-600m and an 11.01 from the 600m-400m so it’s no surprise he felt the pinch a little late with a last 200m of 12.02.

An enormous run and he’s spot on for the Everest.

Plenty of attention was on the two-year-olds and it was Enthaar who proved to be the standout in the Gimcrack Stakes (1000m).

Her overall time of 57.06 was just over two lengths faster than the colts who ran 57.42 and she seemed to be in cruise mode at the finish.

A last 600m of 33.68 and last 200m of 11.56 were comfortably the best in the race and it’ll interesting to see what she can do in the Golden Gift next month.

The run of Mistaken Identity in fifth went largely overlooked but she’s well worth noting down for the future.

She was stuck back in the ruck coming to the turn and when she was clear worked home in 33.75 for her last 600m and 11.63 (last 200m) so not too far off the winner who everyone is talking about.

Shaquero won the Breeders’ Plate (1000m) from the front and when you’re running home in 33.78 you’re pretty hard to catch in anything.

The Snowden trio of Construct (second), Astrologer (third) and Kalashnikov (fifth) all ran faster last 600m splits than the winner so set themselves up nicely for the future.

Construct ran 33.61, including 10.93 from the 400m-200m, while Astrologer posted the fastest last 600m of 33.59 and last 200m of 11.64, and Kalashnikov sat wide and ran 33.71.

It was a little tough to make ground in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and the first four home were in the top six on the turn.

So the efforts of Colette and Rock are worth highlighting for races further through the spring.

Oaks winner Colette was 13th on the bend and worked through the pack to run sixth clocking 34.62 with a last 200m of 11.75.

The only horse to post a faster last 600m was Rock, who ran seventh, in 34.35. He also ran the quickest last 200m of 11.62.

The winner Probabeel certainly wasn’t stopping, her last 600m was next best with 34.72 and her last 200m was the second fastest (11.70).

Reigning Kosciuszko champ Handle The Truth set himself up for a peak performance as he aims to defend his title in the $1.3m race on October 17.

He carried 60kg to a luckless sixth in the Cerrone Handicap (1200m) in a run that was quite similar to his effort in the same race a year ago.

The gelding ran a last 600m 33.38, 0.01 outside the race best set by Hilo, and he was badly held up in the last 200m. Considering he ran 10.95 (600m-400m) and 10.72 (400m-200m) before being stopped in his tracks it says he’s come back very well.

Fastest last 600m: Fierce Impact 33.24

Watch Punter’s Intelligence with Ben Way, Brad Davidson and Brad Gray at 7pm on Tuesdays on Sky Thoroughbred Central.

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