Ain’t that the truth … just ask any thoroughbred racehorse trainer. Trainer Scott is renowned for the closeness he has to his horses and what is needed to get the best out of his charges. One perfect example is ART OF DEFENCE’s win at the Goulburn racecourse on Friday 6th July 2018.
After being out of the winner’s stall for some time, the trainer decided to give ART OF DEFENCE a change of routine and drop him back in distance with a slight drop in class. The formula certainly produced the desired outcome with the horse recording a decisive win.
The Jan Fenton Celebrant Benchmark 55 Handicap (2100m) was the third race of the day, recent fine weather saw the track rated a Good 3. Jess Taylor, who had ridden ART OF DEFENCE to victory previously, was the declared jockey. The pair would jump from barrier five out of a possible eight.
Shortly after the start and jumping cleanly, Jess had her mount travelling two horses off the fence as they went past the winning post for the first time. On settling, ART OF DEFENCE was parked two lengths behind the leading pair, the odds-on favourite First Courrier and Water Line a 20-1 shot, as far as the race plan was concerned, so far so good.
The duo were getting along at a steady pace with the jockey always aware of keeping the front runners in her sights, not letting them put too much of a gap between them. The order didn’t change for the next four hundred metres or so, the only variation was that First Courrier had gone to a clear lead of a length and a half with the same margin between the second horse and ART OF DEFENCE.
Passing the 1000 metres mark, Water Line was upping his tempo and edging closer to the leader. The jockey on First Courrier sensed a move and began urging his mount along, still holding the second horse comfortably.
With 800 metres still to run and the pace quickening, ART OF DEFENCE began closing on the two in front. Prior to the home turn, Jess had moved her horse three wide to be outside the front runners, ready to challenge in pursuit of victory.
On the point of the turn for home, the pair were coming into the race nicely, albeit three wide. In order to keep her mount’s mind on the job Jess gave ART OF DEFENCE a slap down the shoulder.
Down to the business end of the race now, just under 400 metres to go, there were three horses across the track all within a length of each other. First Courrier kicking strongly, regained the lead after a brief challenge from Water Line with our duo a half a length back.
The 200 metres pole saw Jess plying her trade with a bit more gusto and six-year-old mount responded. Tiara Road coming down the middle of the track was closing strongly.
Within 100 metres, ART OF DEFENCE had hit the front and was pulling away from the others, Tiara Road had now moved into second passing the tiring First Courrier. Crossing the finish line it was ART OF DEFENCE by a tad over a length and a half, stopping the clock at 2:14.33, from Tiara Road with First Courrier hanging on for third.
It was grand to see Jess and her horse return to the winner’s stall again. It had been a bit of a dry spell as far as winners were concerned for the owners / breeders Wal and Anne Lanham and owners Margaret Roberts and trainer Scott .... congratulations to you all.
The way ART OF DEFENCE performed today was like the “Frankie” of old, one could be thinking that Ol’ Blue Eyes is back ... Looking forward to his next run with anticipation.
courtesy of Bradley Photos