Éclair Choice and Lumosty could not be separated by the judge in the 2015 Caulfield Sprint and have recorded the second straight dead heat in the Group 2 event at Caulfield this afternoon.
Ball Of Muscle took up the running in the early stages of the Caulfield Sprint, but he tired late and it looked as though Éclair Choice would take out the race after he hit the front at the 200 metre mark.
Lumosty did not have a great deal of luck in running, but she absolutely flew home late and the horses both crossed the line together before the judge ruled that they had dead heated the race – just like Bel Sprinter and Miracles Of Life did last year.
Éclair Choice went into the race at a lengthy quote after he was beaten as favourite in the Listed Wylie Handicap (1100m) at Morphettville on September 19, but jockey Dom Tourneur said that the California Dane entire was ready to run a big race in the Caulfield Sprint.
“He had no luck last start and his first-up run was very good,” Tourneur said.
“He was ready to roll today and Phillip had him in good stead.
“He is a fairly honest customer and we will take half a win.”
Dwayne Dunn said after the race that Lumosty received a lovely run into the race, but she was slightly blocked for a run at the top of the straight, which likely cost her the victory.
Dunn was still happy with the performance of the daughter of Fastnet Rock and he believes that she will take plenty of improvement from the run.
“I gave her a sweet ride until the top of the straight and I just got held-up a little bit,” Dunn said.
“I got on the back of Éclair Choice and it stopped me for just a stride or two before she really launched late.
“Robert said that she wasn’t fully wound up for today, but he expected her to run really well.”
Stokes has always been of the opinion that Éclair Choice is an underrated galloper and he was happy that the son of California Dane was able to show what he is capable of in the Caulfield Sprint.
The Adelaide-based trainer is yet to decide on the next race start for Éclair Choice, but he confirmed that he will remain in Melbourne for the 2015 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
“He hasn’t had much luck this prep,” Stokes said.
“We had blinkers on him earlier in the prep and that was probably a mistake, so we took them off today.
“He jumped a lot better today and he has done the job.
“We will look at the Carnival at Flemington.”
Trainer Robert Smerdon revealed in the lead-up to the Caulfield Sprint that Lumosty would head to the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) after she ran in the Caulfield Sprint and he confirmed after the race that this was still the plan.
Smerdon admits that Lumosty will face a tough assignment against the likes of Chautauqua, Exosphere and Terravista in the Darley Classic, but he believes that the four-year-old will take plenty of improvement from her Caulfield Sprint win.
“I thought that there was good improvement to come from today,” Smerdon said.
“I didn’t tighten her down at all and we are looking at the Darley Classic on the final day.
“That is obviously a very high aim to have for her, but she is a Group 2 winner and we need to get a Group 1 on her CV.
“I can see her improving well off today.”
Dwayne Dunn lodged a protest against Eclair Choice at the conclusion of the race due to alleged interference at the top of the straight, but it was quickly dismissed by stewards.
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