By Ray Hickson
It comes as no surprise that both Tom Melbourne and Washington Heights feature in this week’s Forgive File – they don’t come much unluckier than they were in the same race at Rosehill a few weeks ago.
We’ve asked Racing NSW chief steward Marc Van Gestel to highlight those runners at Randwick on Saturday who had excuses at their last starts and attempted to get an opinion on whether Melbourne or Washington would have come out on top.
Devolving (Randwick race 1, $15 TAB Fixed Odds)
Ron Quinton’s lightly raced filly resumed with a closing third at Canterbury on August 9 and Van Gestel said there was plenty of merit in her run.
“She raced very greenly and making the home turn became awkward on heels and then in the straight took some time to balance up,’’ he said.
“I thought her effort to finish the race off strongly only beaten two lengths by Regimen was good and there was room for improvement.’’
Devolving runs third behind Regimen at Canterbury - August 9
Vaucluse Bay (Randwick race 2, $5.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
The Chris Waller-trained galloper featured in last week’s column after suffering cardiac arrhythmia earlier in August and he again had excuses at Rosehill last weekend when sixth behind stablemate Alward.
“Corey Brown aimed up for a run about the 200m mark and couldn’t improve through,’’ he said.
“He wasn’t able to secure clear running until inside the 200m and his final sections were pretty good.’’
Last Try Wins (Randwick race 4, $11 TAB Fixed Odds)
The Scone galloper has strung together four seconds on end, including three Highways, and Van Gestel said stewards questioned jockey Glyn Schofield about his ride particularly in the middle stages where he was wide and without cover.
“What ended up happening was the winner improved to his inside and was able to steal a break on the horse and as a consequence went on to win,’’ he said.
"We thought there was an opportunity to try and hold his position there.’’
I Am Excited (Randwick race 6, $12 TAB Fixed Odds)
The forgotten horse of the Furious Stakes, this filly resumed with a luckless fifth behind Menari in the Rosebud and returns to fillies company on Saturday.
“She jumped quite awkwardly and became unbalanced at the start and in the early part of the race was held up for clear running,’’ Van Gestel said.
"She couldn’t really be tested until about the 50m mark. She had a speedy cut to the near hind fetlock but probably more importantly had a poor post race recovery.
“If you take out what happened to her in that race, if she was only beaten a length or so by Menari it would be good form for this race.’’
Tom Melbourne (2nd) and Washington Heights (4th) at Rosehill - August 12
Tom Melbourne (Randwick race 8, $6.00 TAB Fixed Odds) and Washington Heights (Randwick race 9, $1.85 TAB Fixed Odds).
We could write a novel on the trials and tribulations of both Tom Melbourne (second) and Washington Heights (fourth) behind Kingsguard at Rosehll on August 12.
Van Gestel said both were very unlucky and when pushed a bit felt that Tom Melbourne probably would have won the race.
“Once he finally got through it was too late but he picked up quite quickly and in the circumstances it’s what is commonly known as a pen job,’’ he said
“We can all speculate and have an opinion on who would have beaten who home, I guess Tom Melbourne probably had the better run in the race and had he secured clear running he might have been able to dash and pinch a bit of a break.’’
As for Washington Heights, stewards inquired into Tim Clarks tactics in the early part of the straight and found his move to stay in and follow Tom Melbourne was reasonable under the circumstances not knowing what was about to unfold.