A drop back in distance has proven just the tonic for Bart Cummings-trained Lunar Rise, who fought off the dogged Tatra to win the Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington today.
Cummings had the son of Starcraft on a Victoria Derby path but reassessed after the gelding failed to stay when he finished fourth behind It’s A Dundeel in the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) last month.
Lunar Rise travelled three wide with cover during the running and swept down the outside with 200 meters to go and, along with Tatra, raced well clear of the rest of the field and scored by a head.
Jockey Hugh Bowman said he was confident heading into the race and believes 1600 meters is the perfect distance for the three year old.
“I had a lot of confidence in this horse, he ran well in Sydney behind today’s Derby favourite and although he was a bit fired up heading to the track he gave me a beautiful run mid race,” Bowman said.
“1600 meters is his go, he might get the 2000 later on but I think the mile is his perfect trip and he is one to follow over the next twelve to eighteen months.”
Cummings was delighted to win yet another major race for friend and owner Dato’ Tan Chin Nam and was impressed with the toughness of his horse.
“He covered a bit of ground and got bumped a bit but he has finished it off very well,” the veteran trainer said.
Peter Snowden-trained Tatra raced just off the speed and showed plenty of fight in the straight to finish second.
Fellow Darley colt Proverb finished third while pre-race favourite Al Aneed, coming off a win in the Gothic Stakes (1400m), was never a factor.