It was hats off to Ascot trainer Eric Wake following a brave move to start his Due Sasso gelding Dueton on the seven day backup to claim the National Jockeys Trust HCP 1000m at Belmont today.
Last week, veteran hoop Paul Harvey scored a last stride victory aboard Dueton ($9.00) in the final race of the day, surging his mount down the centre of the track from sixth on the turn to nab Crown of War on the line by a neck. Dueton had recovered well from the run, and Wake took an educated punt to “go again” on the short turnaround.
With Harvey again in the saddle for today’s event, punters were wary of the stables back to back expectations, with late money bringing Dueton ($6.00 – $5.00) into the third line of betting in the minutes prior to the jump.
As expected, War Prince ($4.20 fav) bounded to the early lead upon barrier rise, together with Times Are Changing ($31.00) and Donnyonetime ($31.00) – the former unable to cross and left stranded one out without cover. Harvey had Dueton travelling sweetly midfield, but still had work to do as War Prince set sail for home entering the straight.
But it would be Dueton again with the final say – bursting through the pack inside the final furlong with devastating gusto to claim the luckless War Prince by ¾ length.
Recode ($11.00) rattled home from near last to capture third, while first up specialist Teen Idol ($4.60) had to settle for fourth.
With the fastest final 600m sectional recorded for the day (34.17sec), Wake may well “go again” with another short back, with talk of starting the speedy 4yo in next weeks listed Belmont Newmarket 1200m.