The front running Ball Of Muscle proved too strong for his opposition with a comfortable win in the Group 2 $400,000 Keno Schillaci Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield today.
The Joe Pride trained veteran sprinter is fast becoming a Caulfield 1100m specialist and has now made it two wins from two starts over that course and distance.
Ball Of Muscle is racing in the best form of his career with a win at Caulfield over the 1100m four starts in the Group 3 $150,000 The Heath 1100 Stakes on September 1 before winning the Group 2 $200,000 Bowermans Office Furniture Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 15.
Pride was willing to forgive Ball Of Muscle’s last start flop when last of eleven in the Group 1 $500,000 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes (1000m) at The Valley on September 28 when he got caught inside runners and never got a clear run.
The Warwick Farm based trainer gambled on bringing Ball Of Muscle back to Melbourne and his judgement was rewarded with another Group 2 win for the eight year old.
“He came off a failure last start and it is tough backing your judgement in bringing him back for another interstate trip two weeks later, but I felt like everything was right for him at home,” Pride said.
“So we brought him back with fingers crossed and it was fantastic to get a result.”
Winning rider Craig Williams had Ball Of Muscle quickly out of the gates and let him slide up out wide to settle in his customary position with the leaders.
Williams let Ball Of Muscle ($9.50) have his head on the home turn and he went to the line strongly to record a three quarters of a length win over the Aidan O’Brien trained Irish sprinter Spirit Of Valor ($17) with Missrock ($11) in third spot.
The Darren Weir trained Voodoo Lad was sent out as the $2.70 favourite and after being slow to get into stride in the early stages, ran home for fourth.