A late betting plunge proved the right decision for punters at Belmont today, when Keepers Court ($4.40 – $3.40) landed a decisive victory in the ozbet.com.au HCP 1400m.
Punters had been concerned over the heavy impost (60kgs) allocated to recent multiple winner When We Were Kings ($2.50 – $2.80 fav), despite the McFlirt gelding having carried the “grandstand” to victory over 1200m three runs back against similar company.
Bustled out of the gates by apprentice hoop Ben Paterson, the 5yo Keeper gelding was able to take a comfortable sit behind early pacemakers Tax A Million ($5.00) and Brigelow ($41.00). With genuine speed upfront, the field stretched out – as lengths appeared between runners mid-race.
With an extra furlong on offer today, Paterson (sitting pretty in third) pinched a couple of lengths on the top-weight passing the 400m mark – electing to push forward with Keepers Court as a dream rails run presented as they swung the final turn. Entering the straight, Tax A Million and Brigelow were spent commodities as Keepers Court handed down its final judgment – shooting clear with ease to cruise to the line for a dominant 2 ¾ length victory.
When We Were Kings was brave in defeat – running on gamely into second, while New Time ($6.00) finishing strongly from well back to claim third.
It was the third win over 1400m for the Adam Durrant trained gelding and easily it’s most convincing – the crushing victory taking its winning tally to five from 21 career starts.