Into The Red has delivered local trainer Kelso Wood a black type win at Eagle Farm this afternoon; bobbing his head at the right time to take out the Group 3 WJ Healy Stakes (1200m) from in-form sprinter Saluter.
Into The Red’s chances of success in the WJ Healy Stakes were given a boost on Wednesday when he was allocated the ideal barrier 7, and the horse used the positive gate ideally when jumping well and taking a position on the heels of early leaders Hotel Drive, Saluter and Shamalia.
Receiving a good run in transit over the back straight on the rails, jockey Luke Dittman steered the son of Not A Single Doubt off the fence and to the centre of the Eagle Farm course rounding onto the final straight.
Given plenty of time to balance, Into The Red immediately responded when asked for an extra effort by Dittman and locked in a fierce back-and-forth sprint battle with Saluter, in which both horses edged in front a various stages.
Appearing to have Saluter’s mark in the final 100m, the five-year-old poked a nose clear to secure his fifth career win in the 2016 WJ Healy Stakes and fourth at black type level.
Into The Red spent close to one year away from competition after finishing sixth in the Group 3 Anniversary Stakes (1200m) on the Gold Coast in June 2015, but returned to racing this time for an impressive win in the Listed Bribie Handicap (1050m) on April 30th.
Having placed a credible fifth in the Listed Lightning Handicap (1050m) on June 8th, the gelding out of Red Sequin left and outright third-favourite to win the open sprint feature at Eagle Farm this afternoon.
Second-placed Saluter carried winning form into the WJ Healy Stakes, and was unlucky not to repeat the dose this afternoon.
Posting a career total of seven wins and thirteen minors through thirty-eight starts, the Commands gelding returned to the paddock after placing fourth in the Listed Goldmarket Quality (1300m) on Boxing Day and a luckless ninth in the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) on the Gold Coast on January 9th.
Godolphin runner Mogador produced a strong late effort to run on for third in the WJ Healy Stakes, but was simply unable to make up the distance on the runaway leaders.