The James Peters-trained Destroyer Eclipse reaped the full benefit of blinkers for the first time with a return to winning ways in the $60,000 Class 4 Premier race over 1200m on Friday night.
An all-the-way Polytrack winner second-up in October, Destroyer Eclipse has since been hitting around the mark without finding the line, but the application of the headgear paid instant dividends.
Settled at the rear ahead of only Mystic Pride for most of the way, the Alamosa four-year-old slowly crept up around the small eight-horse field from the 800m to be within striking distance of leader Sun Ares on the swing.
Soldado gave the fleeting impression he could finally put an end to the frustrating string of placings, but Destroyer Eclipse, who took a few strides before hitting top gear, flashed past to go and score with one-and-three-quarter lengths to spare from Soldado. Q Nine Million ran third another neck away.
Backed down to $13 favouritism, Destroyer Eclipse clocked 1min 12.08secs for the 1200m on the Polytrack, and was bringing up a second win in 10 starts for Indonesian outfit Eclipse Stable.
“I had a chat with the owner after his last run, and we thought the blinkers would help him,” said Peters.
“I was happy with his barrier trial (blinker test) the other day (September 11). He needs a strong pace and if he gets one, he will come home.
“Vlad rode him perfectly and it’s also good for the owner. This horse seems to like the Polytrack and we may look for a Class 3 race over 1200m next time.”
Duric, who was at his first partnership with Destroyer Eclipse, said he had to test him early given his inclination to loaf a little down the back.
“It’s my first time riding him. He’s a quirky little horse, but they put the blinkers on him tonight, and he was more switched on,” said the leading jockey.
“I still had to give him an early crack to get him to tack up down the back. He ran on well in the end.
“He was really well placed tonight, and he duly won.”
Destroyer Eclipse has now taken his stakes earnings past the $120,000 mark for the Eclipse Stable. -STC