Linebacker gets his nose down late to claim Baillieu

Lineback proved too strong late in Group 3 company at Rosehill. Photo: RacingNSW

Linebacker (-117.65) has kept his undefeated record intact after grinding his way to victory over Anode (+300) in the final strides in the Group 3 Baillieu at Rosehill Gardens.

The John O’Shea-trained colt was a dominant winner on debut before stepping out in Group 3 grade for the first time; however, the son of Super Seth didn’t let his connections down as he claimed the leader in the final 50m and he got his head down on the line to grab a narrow victory.

After the race was run to suit the on-speed runners, it was left to Anode and Linebacker to fight out the finish, as they gapped the rest of the field noticeably in the final 300m.

Of the backmarkers, Broadsiding (+1000) and Miss Busslinger (+3300) ran home nicely to finish third and fourth but it was all about the winner and runner-up, as they went head and head to the line and were only split by a nose on the line.

2024 Group 3 Baillieu Replay – Linebacker

John O’Shea was on course to speak about the tough win of Linebacker, and he spoke post-race.

“It was a good challenge for him today because he lacked a bit of ringcraft. It was something new for him to chase one,” O’Shea said of the winner.

“Obviously, it’s hard to make up ground off the fence today, so it was a new string to his bow but he’s a quality animal and he’ll learn from that.

“We will look forward to the next couple of weeks.

“I’m really keen to get him to a mile where he gets control.

“We’ll see what the next few weeks bring but that will help him today no end and we’ll get him to the Champagne in three weeks and see what it brings.

“He’s a real horse. The day where he can run along on speed, he’ll run a mile, a mile-and-a-quarter down the track.

“We just want those other fellas to beat each other up next week and have a hard run, get into the trenches and we’ll just come up to the Champagne with fresh legs and a nice young colt on the way up.”

Tommy Berry was very happy to pick up the ride on the winner, and he spoke about his potential post-race.

“I was excited on Tuesday after I galloped him,” Berry said.

“I just had to find a way to get on him but lucky the connections I was riding for were nice enough to relieve me of my duties and get on a quality colt like him. So it was nice.

“He gives you a great feel. I think there was a lot of merit in his performance today.

“He wasn’t comfortable with the speed. I don’t know if it’s because he’s got such a big stride on him but the speed didn’t feel that genuine to me and he just wanted to get along at his own tempo.

“He’s had a very good blow, he’s had a good time between runs, so I’m not worried about the margin, I just know what he’s got under the bonnet.”

Linebacker is now the second favourite at +350 in the Champagne Stakes futures markets with online bookmakers.

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