Kiwi three year old Usainity will now head to Queensland for the Brisbane Winter Carnival after scoring a narrow win in the Group 3 $125,000 Johnnie Walker Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Randwick today.
Top jockey Hugh Bowman gave the Murray Baker trained Usainity the perfect run in the box seat and shot up along the fence in the straight to hold out Honorius and Michael Rodd.
Craig Williams brought Kingdoms down the middle of the track from last on the home turn to finish third and nose out the short priced favourite Toydini who on face value was very disappointing.
The Group 1 $500,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8 looks the likely target for Usainity after the Zed three year old ran a strong 2000m today.
“He’s a good brave horse, Usainity,” Baker said.
“I trained the sire Zed, and I know a bit about them. Zed is just flying in New Zealand.”
“To think that last year he served Clydesdales and now he’s producing winner after winner.”
“We’ll send him up to Queensland.”
Usainity had solid New Zealand form before today’s race with three wins from six starts and earned a trip across the Tasman with a solid second last start over 2000m in the Group 3 NZ$52,000 Manawatu Classic at Awapuni on March 30.
Bowman rode to instructions and was able to bury Usainity away on the fence and even though he was keen at several points throughout the race, still had enough left at the finish to score an encouraging win.
“The instructions were to ensure that I got a bit of cover,” Bowman said.
“I didn’t know how I was going to do that, there didn’t appear to be much pace on paper and he did want to race a little bit keenly throughout but when he got the split he attacked the line, just like Murray’s horses do. He was strong late.”
Usainity was solid in the ring and started at $9 with runner-up Honorius at $17 with the hard finishing Kingdoms ($12) nosing out the $1.60 favourite Toydini who only plodded in the straight after racing at the tail of the field.