Story and Photos courtesy of Graham Potter and www.horseracingonly.com.au
Eagle Farm, December 12, 2009.Track - Good 3. Rail - out 1m.Class 6 Handicap - 1400m. Time: 1-22.02. 1 Woorim; 2 Aquaterra; 3 I'm Ruthless. Defending Premiership winning trainer Robert Heathcote extended his lead in the current championship when Woorim produced race-winning acceleration over the final 150m to arrive with a late flourish to beat out Aquaterra and I’m Ruthless by 0.75 lengths.Heathcote had three runners in the race and he had the luxury of being able to call on three top line riders to help his cause. Larry Cassidy was on the short-priced favourite Gundy Son (1.80), Stathi Katsidis rode Woorim (6.50) and Michael Cahill partnered Tabulate (21.00). With horse and rider combinations of that quality, chances are one of them would get it right and while the Heathcote stable did walk away with the result, there were plenty of anxious moments as the race didn’t go entirely the script.When the main fancy Gundy Son encountered persistent traffic problems when trying to steal an inside run in the straight, his lack of progress in turn compromised the chance of Tabulate, who was looking to follow Gundy Son through into contention.Cahill had to grab hold of Tabulate at the 200m and that was his race run. Cassidy continued to scan for options, but he was running out of time. That meant there was one left standing for Heathcote. Where was Woorim?A glance back in the field hardly produced a hopeful response. Woorim, who had turned for home in third last place, still had eight horses in front of him at the 200m. He was a little over four lengths off the leader Aquaterra, who was in full flight with daylight in front of him, while Woorim had no clear run to the line.Katisdis is a magical jockey when on-song though and somehow he managed to switch Woorim out, only marginally with a minimum of loss of momentum. Suddenly Woorim was in clear running. Katsidis pressed the turbo button and that is when Woorim went whoosh.The others never saw Woorim coming and they couldn’t have done anything about it if they had seen him. An overdue win was in the bank. Woorim has now won three out of thirteen starts. He has also finished runner-up on four occasions.WINNERS FEEDBACK:Trainer Robert Heathcote: “I think Gundy Son is still trying to get out isn’t he? “Look, we’ve always had a huge opinion of Woorim. You know, the public tends to jump off them a bit when the press labels them when they get beat. His runs (in defeat) have been good. He’s still been charging at the line.“As I say, the connections and I have always had huge wraps on this horse. I don’t doubt that he will get a mile or further down the track, but he is capable of doing it over 1400m. He was so far off them with 200 to go and he just flew. I do think this horse has a really good win in him down the track.“He’ll go to the Magic Millions if we can get him in ... to that 1400m race. He has got an electric sprint and if he gets his chance he’s shown what he can do.Jockey Stathi Katsidis: “He is a very lazy horse. Yeah, there was a really good speed on which suited him. On paper it sort of didn’t look like they would go that hard ... and it just worked out that they did.“He’s got an unbelievable turn of foot the last bit, but he is very lazy and I can see how you can be a little bit unlucky on him. Like, he is a bit awkward at taking runs and he does need a lot of luck that horse to win. Today he got it."PRICE FLUCTUATIONS:Winner (Woorim): 4.40 out to 6.50.Favourite (Gundy Son): 2.20 in to 1.80. Finished fourth.STEWARDS REPORT EXTRACT:Rothera (J. Taylor) raced wide in the early stages.L. Cassidy, rider of Gundy Son, reported that rounding the home turn he observed that the leader, Blazing Hearts had a tendency to lay out and as a result he was hopeful of gaining a run to that horse's inside upon straightening. L. Cassidy added that this did not eventuate and he then elected to attempt a narrow run between Blazing Hearts and Rothera, however he was disappointed for that run when Blazing Hearts shifted out. L. Cassidy explained that he then had to take hold of Gundy Son and shift to the inside of Blazing Hearts to afford it clear running. Approaching the 200m, Punch Up (J. Holder) had to be steadied to avoid the heels of Aquaterra (B. Pengelly), which shifted in under pressure. B. Pengelly, rider of Aquaterra, was advised to exercise more care in similar circumstances in future. S. Seamer, rider of Frozone, was held up in the straight for clear running on the heels of the tiring Rothera until near the 200m where he was able to steer to the outside of the heels of Punch Up and obtain clear running. S. Seamer added that the horse, once clear, finished the race off very well. Tabulate (M. Cahill) was held up in the straight on the heels of Gundy Son until near the 200m. S. Katsidis, rider of Woorim, was reprimanded for permitting his mount to shift out near the 100m, which resulted in S. Scriven, rider of Jazz Heart, having to steer his mount away from the heels of Woorim.
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