Favourite backers had their hearts in their mouth in the opening race of the Flemington Spring Racing Carnival when the long odds on Galah need the length of the Flemington straight to win the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes(1600m) .
The Peter Snowden trained three-year-old settled fifth in the field of eight, a better position than expected while the Ken Keys trained First Course lead in a evenly run race.
Rounding the turn Saint Etienne and Highly Recommended who both settled ahead of Galah moved up to First Course who rallied until the 300m but faded slightly from that point.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy gave Galah plenty of room coming widest.
In a workmanlike fashion, Highly Recommended narrowly got the better of Saint Etienne who fought to the finish while Galah was having a battle.
At the 200m he was still a length and a half off Highly Recommended but knuckled down and landed home in the final stride.
Galah, a $1.50 fav, defeated Highly Recommended ($14) by a nose with Saint Etienne ($61) a head away third.
Both Meethaq who settled third but one pace in the straight and First Course weren’t far away at the finish.
McEvoy said that Galah was living up to his name and was still learning.
“He is still a bit of a goofball,” he said
“He traveled better in winkers today than the other day.”
Snowden backed up his jockey’s point of view.
“He is still learning what is is all about, he had a good look down the straight here today but he got the job done and that is the main thing,” he said.
Snowden said he wasn’t too worried when McEvoy urged Galah with the whip at the home turn.
“He (Galah) is like that, the more you wake him up, the more he ignites,” Snowden said.
Snowden said the best of Galah would be seen in the autumn at 2000m and beyond.
A winner now of four of five starts and $313,000, the colt has one more spring assignment in the Group 2 $350,000 Sandown Guineas (1600m) at Sandown on November 12.
|1st||1||GALAH(4)||Kerrin McEvoy||Peter Snowden||56.0||1-37.84|
|2nd||2||HIGHLY RECOMMENDED(3)||Luke Nolen||Peter G Moody||55.0||0.1L|
|3rd||6||SAINT ETIENNE(7)||Danny Nikolic||Mick Price||55.0||0.3L|
|4th||3||FIRST COURSE(6)||Michelle Payne||Ken Keys||55.0||1.1L|
|5th||4||MEETHAQ(1)||Dwayne Dunn||Danny O’Brien||55.0||2.1L|
|6th||5||CROSS OF GOLD(2)||Damien Oliver||David Hayes||55.0||6.8L|
|7th||7||DURNFORD(8)||Mark Zahra||Pat Carey||55.0||7.0L|
|8th||8||FLYING AQUILA(5)||Corey Brown||Anthony Cummings||53.0||7.5L|