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What You Missed - The Gong Day

By Brad Gray
At Kembla Grange

Mrs Maisel Sidesteps On Debut
It was hard to tell watching the race live but the first favourite Mrs Maisel ducked out sharply to the left soon after the start which is explains why jockey Tim Clark jagged her back.

Here is the stewards' vision:

Mrs Maisel turning left from the barriers

Goldolphin rep Darren Beadman said of the winner Destination, "He is a very laid back type of colt. James elected to put the blinkers on him early, his first start in a race which is a big call but needed them. He just does what he has to do."

"I was surprised when (Mrs Maisel) went back as it was going to be hard to give us two or three lengths head starts knowing what our horse can do and how he performed in his latest trial when he came off their backs."

It was James Cummings' first two-year-old winner of the season. Last year, it was Kiamichi and we know what she went on to achieve.

Pride Speedster Bounces Back
We all knew Kylease was fast. She just hadn't had the chance to show it this campaign yet.

Trainer Joe Pride (Pic: Bradley Photos)

Punters Intelligence shows that the speedster ran along in a slippery 34.66s for the first 600m. The four-year-old sustained it to the line running 34.22s her last 600m.

"To be fair to this mare, she is going to improve a lot with that under her belt. She has always been a horse that improves with racing, but it was good to see her back with that great speed she can show," said Joe Pride.

"Nash (Rawiller) didn't have to ask her for it today, she built into it naturally, ran time and beat a decent field of mares.

"I thought I had her right (earlier in the preparation) but I think her performances tell her that she wasn't right, she had a virus early in the preparation and it isn't until you put the horses under pressure until you find those things out."

Sneaky Championships Hope
Dubbo-based trainer Kody Nestor will aim Saturday's Highway Handicap winner Sneak Preview at the Country Championships next year.

The four-year-old made it four wins from eight starts, with Nestor now setting his sights on the Coonamble heat on Sunday, March 15.

"He had an injury last year, we gave him plenty of time to get over it and we're reaping the rewards now," said Nestor.

"That's been our aim for a while, he'll go for a three week freshen up, probably have a trial, run him in the heat and if he happened to make it to the final he'd be cherry ripe.

"I've got three or four I like but he has a good record, gets the distance and is the perfect Championships horse."

Villiers Next For Quackerjack
Mark Newnham will now take aim at the G2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) in three weeks with unlucky loser Quackerjack.

The four-year-old covered a stack of ground in The Gong but missed by a short margin to Mister Sea Wolf.

“That is hard to take,’’ lamented Newnham, “Quackerjack had the toughest run in the race and we have been beaten a head."

"I said to someone at the 600m mark that we’re done, but what a tough miler he is. He was three-deep with no cover all the way and was still there at the end.

"He is going to win a nice race and we will go to the Villiers and hope he can draw a barrier."

The Villiers carries ballot exemption in the G1 Doncaster Mile over The Championships.


Check out the results and replays for Kembla Grange on Saturday.

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