Blasting up the track
THE market suggested it would be a walk in the park, but Polar Blast’s trainer Janel Ryan wasn’t surprised it was anything but after the gelding secured its fourth straight win at Cluden Park yesterday.
Sent out an overwhelming $ 1.30 favourite in the Benchmark 70 Handicap ( 1400m), the five- year- old and jockey Brad Pengelly survived a spirited challenge from second elect Deputy Dan ($ 6) to win by half a head.
It was Polar Blast’s fourth straight win, and fifth in 17 career starts, after he was freshened up after a three length victory at Cairns on October 31. Polar Blast was behind Deputy Dan before winning an engrossing duel in a headwind down the straight.
“We knew it was going to be a really hard race to win today because everything in it was pretty well on equal terms, especially Roy Chillemi’s horse ( Best Hoffa, fourth) and Deputy Dan,” Ryan said.
“We were pleased with the run. He’s been working well and there’s no reason ( why) he couldn’t win.
“We thought he’d be running second in the trip, and that’s how it panned out.
“After this run we thought we’d send him for a spell, but at the moment there’s not a lot of grass on the Tablelands so we’ll see how it goes.”
The Ryan- Pengilly com- bination took out the opening two races of the card after also saluting with Centre Red ($ 3.80) in the Class 3 Place ( 1609m). Centre Red settled fourth in the run before finishing over the top of the well- backed Light Up Vegas ($ 9). In one of the upsets of the day, trainer Garry Dickson’s $ 18 hope Septimo overcame a betting plunge on favourite Imanui ( fourth) to win the Class 6 Plate ( 1200m).