Av­dulla hugs rail on Kubrick

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - PUNTER - RAY THOMAS

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.

Pic­ture: Si­mon Bullard

A dar­ing ef­fort by rider and horse gets Kubrick home in the in­au­gu­ral Bondi Stakes.

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