North Pacific served up a small taste of spring at Rosehill on Saturday.
The promising Team Hawkes colt had the weight of expectation, following a debut placing in the Silver Slipper, on his shoulders and he didn’t disappoint with a rousing win in the Darley Handicap (1100m) in a time that compared well with the older horses.
Punter’s Intelligence sectional data reveals North Pacific clocked the fastest last 600m of the meeting running 34.53.
Add to that his last 200m of 11.67 was also the best of the day and his overall time of 1:04.95, while having first use of the track, was about a length and a half faster than the race won by Varda a couple of hours later.
While North Pacific was impressive, and set himself on a Golden Rose path, don’t undersell the effort of the runner-up Sahra.
She conceded a few lengths to the winner coming to the turn and ran the fastest 600m-400m of 11.53 and 400m-200m of 11.15 to put herself in the picture but the colt had more firepower late.
Her last 200m of 11.87 was still second best in the race and because of those slick earlier sectionals her last 600m of 34.55 was just 0.02 outside the winner.
All honours to Noble Boy for his breakthrough win in the Listed KIA Winter Stakes (1400m), he ran a race best last 600m of 35.09 and set up the win running 11.30 from the 400m-200m.
But going forward the eye-catcher was, again, Order Again who didn’t have the best of luck in the straight in finishing third but still ran 35.23 for his last 600m.
He clocked a race best last 200m of 11.99 and a race like the Winter Challenge (1500m) on July 25 looks tailor made for him.
There should be some form to come out of the Iron Jack Handicap (1200m), won by Inanup who backed up his superb first-up ‘sectional star’ effort from a month earlier.
Fourth placed Kordia, an impressive first-up winner, lost no admirers as he clocked the fastest last 600m of the race (34.91) including 11.38 (400m-200m) and 12.10 (last 200m), both also the best of the 1200m event.
Runner-up Prime Candidate served notice he’s also close to a win. While his last 600m of 35.74 looks on the slow side he did plenty of work in the first half of the race so his effort to hold second is encouraging.
He posted the fastest 1000m-800m of 10.84 and 800m-600m of 11.32 to make up a first 600m of 36.03, the second fastest of the race behind Oakfield Twilight who eventually ran fifth.
A few other horses of note:
My Swashbuckler clocked the fastest last 600m (35.49) of the De Bortoli Wines Handicap (2000m) in running third behind stablemate Korcho.
Hibiscus Lady was excellent in running a 34.96 last 600m, more than a length faster than the next best in the Ranvet Handicap (1100m).
Charretera again hit the line well clocking 35.01 for his last 600m in finishing third in the Rosehill Bowling Club Handicap (1200m).
Fastest last 600m: North Pacific 34.53
Most ground covered (to win): Rothenburg +11.3m.
Watch Punter’s Intelligence with Ben Way, Brad Davidson and Brad Gray at 7pm on Tuesdays on Sky Thoroughbred Central.