Ju­ve­nile joy for Godol­phin

Sunday Tasmanian - - Sport - PETER STA­PLES RAY THOMAS

TAS­MA­NIAN-BRED and owned geld­ing Mis­ter Song­man went within a half-head of win­ning at his in­ter­state de­but at Rose­hill Gar­dens in Syd­ney yes­ter­day.

Mis­ter Song­man raced out­side of the leader to the home turn and, af­ter ap­pear­ing a spent force, found an­other gear and forged to the lead but was nabbed in the last stride by first-starter Ka­pa­jak, from the Team Hawkes sta­ble.

Mis­ter Song­man was pre­pared last sea­son by Tas­ma­nian Hall of Fame trainer Roys­ton Carr for whom the geld­ing won four of his seven starts as a three-year-old in­clud­ing the 3YO Cup (1200m) and the 3YO Tro­phy (1400m).

The four-year-old’s own­ers, John and El­iz­a­beth Burke, de­cided to place him in the care of the Syd­ney train­ing com­bi­na­tion of Gai Water­house and Adrian Bott, who gave him two tri­als be­fore set­tling on Sat­ur­day’s bench­mark 78 hand­i­cap over 1100 me­tres.

“Gai and Adrian were qui­etly con­fi­dent he would run well first up for the sta­ble, and they were right,” John Burke said.

“The plan was to bring him to Syd­ney and give him three runs and see whether or not he would make the grade but, on this first-up ef­fort, I think his fu­ture might be in Syd­ney.”

Bott sug­gested the geld­ing would rel­ish step­ping up in dis­tance.

“I am con­fi­dent the horse will be bet­ter when he gets to 1400 me­tres and maybe even a mile (1600m),” Bott said.

“That was a nice ef­fort for his first start and he is only go­ing to im­prove.”

Mis­ter Song­man was backed in from $10 to start the $4.60 sec­ond favourite be­hind three-year-old Skyray ($4.20) but it was the only other three­year-old in the field to deny the Tas­ma­nian vic­tory.

Ka­pa­jak (by Lonhro) was well backed, firm­ing from $26 to start at $15 fixed odds with Lad­brokes.

Burke was un­sure when Mis­ter Song­man would have his next start but he con­firmed the geld­ing would not be back in Tas­ma­nia for any races dur­ing the Tas­ma­nian Sum­mer Rac­ing Car­ni­val in Fe­bru­ary.

Golden Mile (1650m) to be run in Devon­port next Fri­day has at­tracted 17 nom­i­na­tions, in­clud­ing po­ten­tial cups can­di­dates Eas­ten­der, Bidi­rec­tional and Un­der­play.

Also among the nom­i­nees is tal­ented mare Speedonova who will be out to win the race and se­cure bal­lot-free en­try into the Devon­port Cup to be run overt 1880m on Jan­uary 9.

The Golden Mile is the first of two races to of­fer the win­ner bal­lot-free en­try into the Devon­port Cup. The Sh­effield Cup (1650m) to be run on De­cem­ber 23 of­fers the same ben­e­fit to the win­ner.

Fi­nal ac­cep­tances for next Fri­day’s Devon­port meet­ing close on Tues­day at 9am. ATHIRI is the lat­est promis­ing two-year-old to roll off the Godol­phin ju­ve­nile pro­duc­tion line, with a bril­liant de­but win at Rose­hill Gar­dens yes­ter­day.

The James Cum­mingstrained Athiri pro­duced an im­pres­sive bit of ac­cel­er­a­tion to score a dom­i­nant win in the Elderton Homes Made You Look Sprint (1100m).

“That was a rip­ping de­but from a very un­com­pli­cated filly,’’ Cum­mings said.

“She sweated on a run for half a fur­long, it didn’t faze her, her at­ti­tude is her great­est strength and when the gap came, she sprinted quickly.

“She has a won­der­ful at­ti­tude but she’s not ro­bust like some of the colts we saw in the yard that’s for sure

“But I think we have just un­veiled an­other good at­tribute of hers and that is a very pow­er­ful turn of foot.’’

Athiri ($6), rid­den by Glyn Schofield, was held up for a run from the top of the straight un­til about the 200m where she burst be­tween run­ners and raced away to a two-lengths win from an­other first starter, Ac­ces­sion ($12), with Stronger ($7) three-quar­ters of a length away third.

This was Godol­phin’s third suc­ces­sive Syd­ney Sat­ur­day two-year-old win­ner at Rose­hill in as many races. Ki­amichi started the se­quence on Novem­ber 10, there was no two-year-old race a week later be­fore boom colt Tas­sort won on Novem­ber 24.

Tas­sort went straight to the spell­ing pad­dock to be pre­pared for the Golden Slip­per af­ter his out­stand­ing de­but and Cum­mings sug­gested Athiri will be fol­low­ing a sim­i­lar prepa­ra­tion.

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