Sometimes the problem with having a ‘good’ horse having its first start is that other first starters may be just as good.
Cranbourne trainer Doug Harrison took It’s Crunch Time to Bendigo in July thinking it would win on debut.
It ran second to Freereturn who then won five of its next seven starts including two in town.
It’s Crunch Time was spelled after a subsequent start on an unsuitable heavy track but returned last night to win the Campanion Leisure Plate (1000m) at Moonee Valley.
Jockey Michael Rodd, who had ridden the horse on debut, stuck solid and piloted the son of Fusaichi Pegasus to an all the way win.
From an outside draw It’s Crunch Time worked early to lead Lustful with Radium in third.
Rodd was able to get a few cheap sectionals.
At the home turn Lustful pepped up and Ozone Bar joined in three wide after settling sixth.
It’s Crunch Time held too many guns and defeated Lustful with Ozone Bar third.
Rodd has a high opinion of the four-year-old.
“He is pretty classy this bloke, I rode him at Ballarat and as soon as I got on him I thought he was a class animal,” he said.
“But the wet track (dead) was his undoing.
“Coming here tonight I was pretty confident with him.
“Doug was happy with the work he had done coming into the race.
“It was a matter of getting him across (from the barrier) but he kicked away again really easily.
“I think he is going to be a big track horse, I don’t think this sort of racing suits him.
“I think he will be a better horse if he settles off the pace and he will find a few more lengths really quickly.
“The track (Moonee Valley) will be an on pace track tonight and I think this horse has a good future.”
The Moonee Valley weather has remained dry despite wet weather 50km away.
Harrison reflected on It’s Crunch Times debut.
“I thought he was a pretty good thing that day but that is what can happen in maidens,” he said.
“He has always been a lovely horse, he has come along well.
“That racing under his belt at his first preparation has really helped him.”
|1||2||IT’S CRUNCH TIME||Doug Harrison||Michael Rodd||8||58kg||$6.50|
|2||10||LUSTFUL||Ross McDonald||Danny Nikolic||0.75L||7||54.5kg||$10|
|3||7||OZONE BAR||Robert Smerdon||Mark Zahra||1.25L||6||56.5kg||$2.40F|
|4||14e||SECOND EDGE||Libby Haworth||Peter Mertens||4.25L||4||58kg||$31|
|5||8||RADIUM||Robbie Griffiths||Nicholas Hall||4.55L||3||56.5kg||$3.60|
|6||11e||BINH BA||Ray Bodsworth||Craig Newitt||6.05L||5||58kg||$26|
|7||1||I’M A SOLDIER||Eric Musgrove||Dean Yendall||6.45L||1||58kg||$14|
|8||5||HARVEY THE RABBIT||Matthew Hyland||James Winks||6.95L||2||56.5kg||$5.50|
|9||4||GEORGETHEFIRST||Michael Drew||Michael Walker||10.7L||9||56.5kg||$31|
|13e||CARAVAN SANG||Robert Kingston||Peter Mertens||0|
|9||PAU HANA||Danny Curran||Stephen Baster||0|
|12e||BLAZE IT UP||Anthony Chibnall||Ashley Thompson (a3)||0|
|3||LEGEND OF LOONGANA||Mark Jackson||John Keating||0|
|6||HEART OF MELBOURNE||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||0|