STAGGERING, the three-year-old filly by Mosayter (USA) out of the Last Tycoon mare Better Days, has really taken a liking to the Central Tablelands region after recording her second win at the Bathurst track from her five career starts.
Her race was the last of the day, the Bathurst RSL Benchmark 62 Handicap (1406m). The jockey for the day was Bobby El-Issa, STAGGERING had been assigned to carry the acceptable weight of 54.0kgs, drawing barrier nine out of a possible ten. The track was declared as a Good 4 and the weather was posted as Fine.
Punters were confident of a good performance, STAGGERING had met with solid support in the betting, her price fluctuations ($4/$3/$3.40/$3.50) made her the favourite.
The start, which is located in the 1400 metres chute, gives the runners a long, fairly straight run to the first bend. STAGGERING was positive from the gates taking up a position behind the renowned front-running Oskastar trained by Garry Lunn from Dubbo.
Just prior to the 1200 metres pole Bobby took hold and settled his mount a length behind the leader and getting along at a steady clip. Positioning remained the same passing the 1000 and 800 metres markers with Oskastar getting out to a two lengths margin at one stage.
With about 700 metres left to run, her jockey gave STAGGERING a little more rein and the pair began to take ground off the leader. Approaching the home turn the duo were half a length back on the outside of Oskastar and issuing a challenge.
Into the straight and balanced up, Bobby had drawn level with the front runner and began urging his horse along. However the other horse was responding strongly and wouldn’t be giving up the lead that easily.
The 200 metres mark was now behind them, the leaders were neck ‘a’ neck in running, neither horse giving an inch. It was going to be close, then along came the Gosford-based Social Pirate ridden by Greg Ryan producing a late charge from back in the field, having the last crack at victory.
Passing the winning post … the three horses had crossed the line together, Oskastar on the fence, Social Pirate on the outside with STAGGERING between them.
After scrutinising the photofinish image, the judge’s decision saw STAGGERING get the nod from Oskastar which had put in an extraordinary effort under his weight, Social Pirate took third. The margins, 0.08 of a length first to second and 0.02 second to third.
To the owners/breeders, J.W. Kelly Suffolk Vale & Co. go our heartiest congratulations, your horse has done you proud. Appreciations to Bobby El-Issa, for a heady ride and to Scott and his team for preparing STAGGERING to the minute resulting in another win.