Amazing Star put in a dazzling performance to take the Class 2 Stubbs Handicap (1200m) at Happy Valley last night (Wednesday, 29 January) and continue the fine form of trainer Jimmy Ting.
The improving five-year-old destroyed his rivals; a fast break to lead, followed by a strong middle section, had them working hard to keep tabs, and a determined drive to the line sealed a length and three-quarter success for the 1.4 favourite.
“He’s been going well this season and he did it the hard way tonight from a wide gate (12),” jockey Zac Purton said. “He had to do some work early and had pressure applied to him again at the 600 (metres) but he kicked away nicely and did a good job.
But while the rider was pleased, he offered a note of caution for the future.
“He didn’t have much left tonight so he needs to come on from that,” he said.
Ting, with eight wins from the last seven race meetings, was a tad taken aback by the manner of Amazing Star’s victory in a time of 1m 08.99s (23.37, 22.04, 23.58).
“Amazing – Amazing Star!” he said. “The horse was in better form last time he ran. This time he was a bit fat, for him, but he won so easily, so I was a bit surprised with how he did that.”
Amazing Star tipped the scales pre-race at 1188lb, his heaviest racing weight and 11lb up on his previous win back in December. But the extra pounds didn’t blunt the Darci Brahma gelding’s speed as he made it a hat-trick for the season so far.
“He’s a very fast horse but it was his first time in Class 2 so I was afraid he’d have horses chasing him, but we were lucky that no horses could,” Ting noted.
“At this stage there’s a race on 26 February but I don’t know whether I’ll run him or not; I’ll talk to the jockey and see what he says – I just need to see if the horse is in good form or not.”
Amazing Star’s win sealed doubles for Ting and Purton. The champion jockey kicked off with Shouson while the handler was also on the mark with Golden Glory.
Shouson was a warm order in the opener, section one of the Class 4 Kennedy Handicap (1200m), and justified his 1.9 odds with an easy success. The John Moore-trained galloper burst clear with 200m to go and kept on well until Purton eased him through the final few strides to pass the post a length to the good.
Golden Glory was runner-up to Shouson last time out and the form stood up well as the Ting-trained nine-year-old boxed on determinedly to score by two lengths under Silvestre de Sousa in section two of the Class 4 Kennedy Handicap (1200m).