Kiwi raider Turn Me Loose has produced a tough effort to lead from start to finish and withstand a late surge from Politeness in the 2015 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington this afternoon.
Turn Me Loose continued to drift in Emirates Stakes betting markets in the hours leading up to jump, but experienced a perfect start and was allowed to stride to the fore of the field and take up the pace from the outset.
Setting only a fair tempo on pace, Turn Me Loose was offered a clear racing line upon arriving on the final straight but was allowed time to balance by jockey Kerrin McEvoy before being asked for an extra effort.
Kicking clear with only 300m to run, the Iffraaj gelding appeared home and hosed and maintained his strong run to the line; Politeness particularly impressive in savaging the line for second ahead of Rock Sturdy.
McEvoy was thrilled to partner Turn Me Loose to victory in the 2015 Emirates Stakes but heaped plenty of the praise on regular rider Opie Bosson, who missed the race through suspension.
“I’d just like to thank Murray Baker obviously but also Opie Bosson – he’s done all the work on the horse so I’m feeling for you Opie,” McEvoy said.
“I rode him Thursday morning for the first time and he’s just a bold-going Kiwi; he likes to get out there and make every post a winner.
“I knew Murray him in great order the way he felt Thursday and I knew the ground wouldn’t be any problem.
“I was a little worried at halfway because he was going very bold in my hands but he gave a good kick at the 600m and another kick at the 300m and was too strong for them.
“He was bold and very solid underneath me.”
Baker has been pleased with the form and class displayed by Turn Me Loose through his maiden Australian campaign this season and revealed the 2015 Emirates Stakes was not actually the horse’s major target this time.
“He’s a good, tough horse that can run those sectionals and make it very hard for horses behind him,” Baker said.
“He rode him great. Kerrin just showed what a quality rider he was today.
“I’m absolutely certain he could go further. Originally he was nominated for the Cox Plate but he missed a race at Hastings which put him back.
“We had to target this race, but I’m sure he’ll run 2000m.”
In being crowned the 2015 Emirates Stakes winner, Turn Me Loose has now claimed an impressive six wins and four minors through only eleven career starts.