The washup from the $1m The Gong at Kembla Grange has to be that Archedemus was a comprehensive winner but there’s one horse we need to remember for the autumn.
Punter’s Intelligence sectional data highlighted the gutsy win by Archedemus in the 1600m feature, a race run not quite brutally but at a testing pace, with the first 600m run in 36.61 compared to the following 1600m event run in 37.22 so almost four lengths faster.
By the end of the respective races, The Gong was run 1.33 seconds faster (eight to nine lengths) so the open class horses really kept the pressure going.
Significantly, while Archedemus was able to sustain his run on the speed the leader, Positive Peace, dropped out to run second last. Archedemus ran a last 600m of 34.38 which was only tenth best of the race but refused to be beaten.
At around the 600m he held a margin of about four lengths over the eventual runner-up Dawn Passage and it was just enough as that horse’s last 600m of 33.85 was just under three and a half lengths quicker.
The difference, though, was Archedemus ran 11.62 for the last 200m while Dawn Passage’s run came to an end and he clocked 11.65.
The horse to mark down for the new year is Brandenburg who clocked the fastest last 600m of the race running 33.43 (two and a half lengths faster than Dawn Passage’s second best) and only one horse covered more ground in the run.
He was the only horse to break 11 seconds (10.79) from the 400m-200m. It’s worth noting that trainer John Sargent plans to have the Doncaster placegetter gelded in his break.
Greek Hero will be in everyone’s black book after his third in 1400m Benchmark 78 to round out the program.
He easily recorded the fastest last 600m of 33.63 after settling last thanks to blowing the start, his first 200m of 14.79 was the race’s slowest.
Air To Air goes for a break in a good space after running a 33.99 last 600m to finish second off a track record pace in the Canadian Club Handicap (1500m).
She was the only horse to break 11 seconds (10.94) from the 400m-200m and her last 200m of 11.70 was almost a length faster than anything else in the race.
There has to be a maiden win, or a TAB Highway, in the near future for Diorissima who was the standout from the 1600m Class 3 Highway at Kembla.
She was last at 600m and rattled off a 34.94 final 600m, two lengths faster than the next best, and she was the only horse to better 12 seconds (11.88) for the last 200m.
Chris Waller has worked some magic on Hulk who is racing so consistently and he was responsible for the day’s fastest last 600m (32.44) in winning the Evergreen Turf Australia Handicap (1000m).
That sectional included a blistering 10.47 from the 400m-200m.
The big prize eluded John Thompson at Kembla but he’ll be winning races with Dunbrody Power who was outstanding in running fifth in the Traffic Logistics Handicap (1200m).
Not only did she cover more ground, an extra 9.5m, than her rivals she posted a last 600m of 33.17 as she powered home from the back. She also owned the meeting’s fastest last 200m of 11.12.
It’s not a bad effort considering she was the slowest between the 800m and 600m (11.66) as she eased in an attempt to find cover.
The run backed up a first-up win and while, as a backmarker, she often needs the breaks it appears she’s gone up a notch this time in.
Adding further merit is a comparison between the two Benchmark 78 races over the 1200m.
The first 600m in the ABAX Contracting Handicap was run by Big Parade in 34.58 while the first 600m in the fillies and mares was a more leisurely 35.79 (seven or so lengths slower).
Big Parade clearly ran his race in the first half, he clocked 12.81 from the standing start for the first 200m then 10.75 from the 1000m-800m. By the finish he had nothing left running a very slow last 200m of 12.23. It was reported post-race he had a decent blow so he might be worth forgiving.
Fastest last 600m: Hulk 32.44
Watch Punter’s Intelligence at 7pm on Tuesday on Sky Thoroughbred Central.