Viridine victory thrills trainer
UNBEATEN Godolphin colt Viridine successfully stepped up to black-type racing at Randwick, upstaging favoured stablemate Malahat in the Listed Heritage Stakes yesterday.
For the first time in his three-race career Viridine produced an emphatic winning margin, pleasing assistant trainer Darren Beadman.
“He did a few things wrong early but when Brenton (Avdulla) asked him for an effort he stuck his head out and he really wanted to hit the line,” Beadman said.
“He’s a lovely colt. He delivered twice over the winter on soft tracks, only by small margins, where he got into difficulty a few times and got out of it.”
First-up over 1100m, Viridine ($7) powered clear to win by 1-1⁄4 lengths.
Single Bullet ($6.50) resumed with a second and Albumin ($17) was a neck back in third.
“He’s only going to keep improving, he’s obviously three-from-three but his first two wins, he never put the field away. Today he put the race away at the furlong,” Avdulla said.
Favourite Malahat ($2.90) set the early pace after jumping from the outside gate but faded to fourth.
“Randwick’s not really his track,” Beadman said.
“He had to do a bit work from the wide gate. To me, he’s a Moonee Valley, Canterbury type horse where he can use his speed and run off the corners.”
Godolphin’s third runner Marsupial ($3.60) battled on for fifth after missing the kick.
Meanwhile, Greg Ryan was back in the saddle at Randwick for the first time since an eye operation.
The veteran jockey thought Lalarbrook had been caught on the line by She Knows but a photo confirmed the Dubbo-based gelding had hung on to win yesterday’s Highway Handicap (1000m) by a nose.
“I thought I got beat on the line, I thought they nutted me. It was a good effort from the horse,” Ryan said.
Larlabrook ($4.40) tired over the latter stages but had just enough in reserve to hold off She Knows ($6).
Undaoaf ($17) also finished strongly to take third, a short head further back.
Ryan, who had growth removed from his left eye last month to remedy blurred vision, doubted the four-yearold would have won first-up had trainer Clint Lundholm not trialled him at Dubbo on August 28.
“It hardened him right up,” he said.
Lundholm also feared Larlabrook had been denied his third win in four starts when racing for the first time since February.
“I thought on the line the outside got us. I was shaking like a leaf,” he said.