DID YOU SEE/ HEAR?

Sunday Herald Sun - - Racing -

It took the last stride in the last race for

to wres­tle back the lead in the jockeys premier­ship, which will go down to the wire. Mertens started the day two in front of

but couldn’t salute de­spite rid­ing the open­ing two favourites.

Wil­liams won two of the first three races to bridge the gap, but both then lost rides through scratch­ings. Mertens’ run­ner in the sixth,

was scratched be­cause the Caulfield track was “too per­fect”. And Wil­liams lost one early when scratched from the Sir John Monash Stakes. Mertens fin­ished the day with a one-win lead on 72 when won the fi­nal race. There are four more meet­ings left for the win­ner of the Roy Hig­gins Medal to arise.

has had a few stars through his sta­ble, most no­tably su­per­star and Cox Plate win­ner

but none for a while. He thinks how­ever he might have an­other “good one” in two-year-old which beat a handy field with a con­vinc­ing win, at its first start, in yes­ter­day’s John and Denise Cobcroft Hand­i­cap (1200m). Eurell said he would turn out the geld­ing, which he bred and his wife owns, un­til the spring with the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas a po­ten­tial tar­get.

IN A NUT­SHELL

WIN­NING is never passe for lead­ing trainer but as he racked up city win­ners 129 and 130 for the sea­son with a dou­ble at a Caulfield yes­ter­day he was nowhere be seen. In­stead he was a “guest speaker” at the Bund­aberg race club in Queens­land on “Bundy Cup” day. He didn’t have a run­ner in the 11-horse, $15,000 Bund­aberg Gold Cup, mak­ing it one of the very few cups in this coun­try Weir hasn’t won.

IT took only two meet­ings for to re­turn to the win­ners list af­ter a long in­jury lay-off. Walker’s im­me­di­ate fu­ture looked in se­vere doubt when he had to be helped down from a mount at Moonee Val­ley in Fe­bru­ary as he suf­fered se­vere back spasms. Surgery and a long re­cov­ery fol­lowed be­fore Walker made his re­turn to rid­ing at Pak­en­ham on Fri­day. He couldn’t find a win­ner there but turned things around yes­ter­day at Moe when he pi­loted to vic­tory in the eighth race.

BIG BETS WITH THE TAB

A DAY of fo­cus on fundrais­ing for the Na­tional Jockeys Trust got off to the per­fect start yes­ter­day when a $400,000 be­quest was made on be­half of the Denise Cobcroft Breed­ing Trust.

with her hus­band owned, raced and bred horses for decades. landed some big bets $10,000@ $1.80 and $6000@$1.80. The $4000@$4.60 didn’t get a look in on in the Win­ter Stakes at Rose­hill.

$9000@$2.20, $9000@$2.15 and $7900@ 2.20. $6000@$2.70. Dwayne Dunn on Wind­bern is the most dan­ger­ous non-Josh Cartwright piece of rid­ing I’ve seen since Frankie on Max Dy­na­mite in the 2015 Cup. TOM HACK­ETT @Res­i­den­tRain­man

Craig Wil­liams and Beau Mertens at Caulfield yes­ter­day. Pic­ture: GETTY IMAGES

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