MOVE over Pakistan Star, there’s a new sheriff in town.
Punters could have been forgiven for overlooking $117.20 shot at Crownbet Last Dance in the third race at Moe, with the horse boasting one of the more inelegant maiden records in recent memory.
Never starting at better than $31 across its six race career, the four-year-old mare has lost by a combined 86.6 lengths across its last three starts and had never finished better than mid-field in its entire career.
Then this happened.
WOWEE | Last Dance, if you don’t mind! pic.twitter.com/J5plTGQ8Hu
— Racing.com (@Racing) November 21, 2017
Missing the kick by several lengths and getting pushed along well before the turn, jockey Harry Grace made the hail mary move of riding for luck through the pack and it paid off. The daughter of Sharkbite delivered a turn of foot reminiscent of Chautauqua to storm to the front and race away with the win.
Who put the jetpack on Last Dance down the straight? #moe
— Brad Cole (@BJCole10) November 21, 2017
To say the performance came as a surprise to trainer Cliff Murray would be an understatement.
“I’m still in shock,” Murray said in aftermath of the race.
“I was hoping and we always knew she could gallop and she’s always had a lot of problems, even today she missed the start and got in trouble coming around the corner but she was good enough to get up.”
The victory was made all the more extraordinary was not only did the horse miss the start by several lengths, but the mare was also vetted at the barriers prior to being cleared to run.
Murray the troubles at prior to, and just after the jump were representative of Last Dance’s career to date.
“She’s out of a Zabeel mare, and they tell me the fillies are a lot like that.
“She’s just highly strung, nothing greatly but just highly strung and she’s taken a long while to mature.”
Not only did the win break a six race winnless streak for the four-year-old, it added another win to Cliff Murray’s record after taking out race one with Firefree ($2.70 at Sportsbet).
Murray had previously not recorded a winner since February.
A gear change proved the catalyst for Last Dance today according to the trainer, who said the team made a last-ditch effort to get the most of the mare.
“We had to try something and hopefully that’s her secret.
“It worked today.”