Avdulla hugs rail on Kubrick
SOME riders might have baulked at taking the narrow gap as plenty of horses would not have dared attempt the run, but neither Brenton Avdulla nor Kubrick hesitated for a moment.
It was a win for bravery as much as talent. Avdulla and Kubrick scraped along the inside running rail for 100m at least before seizing control of the $1 million Bondi Stakes ( 1600m) at Royal Randwick yesterday.
“My foot is on fire from the ‘paint’,’’ said Avdulla, whose right boot was almost shredded.
“Big prizemoney and good horses make you do silly things.’’
Charlie Duckworth, stable representative for trainer Chris Waller, surprisingly said he was reasonably confident Kubrick and Avdulla would squeeze through even though there was virtually no room.
“If there is one horse who would go for that run, it is Kubrick, he is a real competitor and enjoys the challenge,’’ Duckworth said.
“Everyone knows Brenton is an aggressive rider so they are probably perfectly suited because they are prepared to have a crack.
“Brenton and Kubrick certainly tested the flexibility of the rail but that is what happens when you are racing for $1 million.’’
The inaugural Bondi Stakes may not have attracted an elite field of three-year-old milers but the race proved a spectacle with Kubrick ($3.70 equal favourite) bursting through to win by a length from stablemate Pancho ($21) with early leader Colada ($8) just over two lengths away third.
Just Thinkin’ ($3.70 eq fav) had every chance before finishing fifth.
Kubrick is raced by Denise Martin’s Star Thoroughbreds and gave the popular syndicator a hat-trick of $1m race wins this year.
“We won the Magic Millions (Fillies and Mares race with Invincibella), Fiesta (Inglis 3YO Sprint) and now Kubrick,’’ Martin said.
“It’s very exciting for my owners. I’ve got to say what a great job Chris Waller and his team do and what a super ride by Brenton.’’
Kubrick was unplaced in all three starts leading into the Bondi Stakes but Duckworth said the colt had legitimate excuses each time.
“He needed his first two runs then in the Caulfield Guineas he drew wide and was never on the track,’’ he said.
“But everyone can forgive him now for a tough run from an awkward alley in the Caulfield Guineas.
“Any million-dollar race is hard to win. We were lucky to have a tough colt like him who bustled his way through that gap.’’
Duckworth said Kubrick has probably done enough for the spring but the improving Pancho might be given his chance in the latter part of the Melbourne carnival.
“Pancho had to come around the field to make his own luck rather than the opposite of what Kubrick had to do,’’ Duckworth said.
“Chris will see how Pancho comes through this race but there is a stakes race over 1800m at Flemington during the Cup carnival which might suit him.’’
Tim Clark (Just Thinkin’) said the three-year-old might have “come to the end of his preparation”.
“He’s done a good job this time in, he’ll be back bigger and better next time,’’ the jockey said.
Bottega refused to settle in blinkers, giving jockey Glen Boss a torrid ride before finishing a long last.
“The blinkers had a bad effect on him, he was out of control in the run,’’ Boss said.
A daring effort by rider and horse gets Kubrick home in the inaugural Bondi Stakes.