Time To Plunder worked home strongly in the final stages to score a narrow win over Finishing Card in the 2014 Keith Noud Handicap at Doomben this afternoon.
Talented sprinter Love Rocks was very well-backed in the lead-up to the Keith Noud Handicap following the withdrawal of Primal Flight and he took up the running in the early stages of the race without having to expend too much energy.
Love Rocks was still on the bit coming around the bend and looked as though he was doing it very comfortably, while the resuming Benny’s Buttons was off the bit early, but the Stratum gelding was unable to respond when asked for an extra effort by jockey Anthony Allen.
Rocket To Glory took up the running briefly, but it was outside Finishing Card who looked like the winner when he hit the front at the 150 metre mark before Time To Plunder leapt out of the grade late to steal victory in the shadows of the post.
Time To Plunder was stepping up to Listed level for the first time since he finished ninth behind Tiger Tees in the Listed Falvelon Quality (1200m) earlier this year and the Keith Noud Handicap win was his first victory of his spring preparation.
The Holy Roman Emperor gelding returned to racing with a sixth place finish behind Adebisi in the Barry Nilsson Lawyers Handicap (1110m) at Doomben on September 6 and failed to beat home a single runner in both the Powerade Handicap (1200m) at the same venue on September 20 and the Broadbeach Junior AFL Handicap (1200m) at the Gold Coast on October 4.
Time To Plunder produced an improved performance in the QANTAC Handicap (1200m) at Doomben on October 18 and returned to his best form with a second place finish in the Carly-Mae Pye Memorial Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on October 25 before he finished second behind Secret Toy Biznees in the Greys Race at Flemington on Crown Oaks Day.
Finishing Card was narrowly denied his first race win since joining the stable of Shane Edmonds, but his impressive performance indicates that he may be close to returning to the form that he showed when he took out the Listed John Dillon Stakes (1400m) and finished fifth in the Group 1 Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield earlier this year.
Excellantes, Benny’s Buttons and Love Rocks all tired in the final stages of the Keith Noud Handicap and finished at the tail of the field.