There were places for Qatar Bloodstock pair Hursley and Portman who ran in handicaps at Flemington in Australia earlier today.
Hursley’s trainer, Chris Waller (pictured), described the horse’s performance as honest after he was beaten two and a half lengths by Duke Of Ellington, with Goodwill nearly three lengths back third of the 11 runners. Drawn widest of the field, jockey Brad Rawiller slotted into a position just behind the pace early, but Waller added: “As the race unfolded he got shuffled a couple of lengths further back before the top of the straight. He gradually went through the gears and really let down well, finishing off strongly. Brad reported it was another honest effort from him under 61kg, a big weight, and the winner simply got a break on him. In saying that Brad gave him a beautiful ride from a very awkward barrier. We’ll look at an 1,800m race at Caulfield in April.”
Waller was forced to scratch Endless Drama from today’s Aus$1m China Horse Club George Ryder following unrelenting rain that made the going unsuitably testing. Victory went to Waller’s imperious Winx, who spread-eagled the field for her 16th straight win.
Trainer Danny O’Brien ran Portman under claimer Ben Allen at Flemington, and he too ran a cracking race, beaten less than half a length in a tight finish with winner Strike Force and runner-up War Legend.