Short-priced debutant Triple Trio (Sebring) overcame a bungled start to still come up trumps in the $85,000 Restricted Maiden race over 1100m on Sunday.
The impressive barrier trial winner indeed got off to a less than ideal start when he missed the kick and had to be scrubbed up early by jockey Glen Boss to recover the lost ground.
Luckily for him, he did not encounter any traffic problems in the first 300m, eventually settling into fifth spot on the fence while Gamely (Barend Vorster), Conatus G (Wong Chin Chuen) and Mr O’Reilly (Alysha Collett) dictated a genuine pace to the race at the head of affairs.
Turning for home, Triple Trio was peeled out for his run, but doubts still lingered whether that gut-busting effort to catch up on the leading bunch would take its toll on him.
Conatus G did prove hard to shake off, but once Triple Trio poked his head in front, his superior qualities saw him edge clear for a three-quarter-length win. Gamely stuck on well for third place another 3 ¾ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 6.6secs for the 1100m on the Polytrack.
Boss said the sluggish start took him by surprise but his will to win in spite of that early expense of energy was even more surprising.
“He caught me by surprise at the start as he’s such a quiet and lackadaisical horse,” said the Australian jockey who rode the Sebring three-year-old to a four-length barrier trial win on May 22.
“The plan was to be one-out one-back, but I think he shied away from the barrier attendant in the gates, and missed the start. He was quickly on the back of the leaders, but he had to do a lot of work to get there.
“He was in a good position to win, but it was a big effort to still win in the end. Not many horses would run like that; everything went wrong but he still won.”
Clements said that the cosy prep the Sharon Stable-owned gelding had been put through might not have been the ideal pre-debut introduction to the realities of raceday pressure, but he acquitted himself very well in the end.
“He had a pretty easy prep, with his two trials,” said the Zimbabwean-born handler.
“He’s not been asked any question, but today, he faced a real race situation.
“He never missed the start in his trials. Not sure what happened, but Glen made up good ground and the horse ran very well.
“I’ll probably keep him to sprints for the time being.”
Triple Trio was a $75,000 graduate of Pencarrow Stud's draft at the 2016 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale.