A shock result awaited punters in the Lab Trends HCP 1200m at Ascot today, when the 5yo Key Business sired New Time won its first race in 120 days with a barnstorming late finish.

The pre-race market was unable to split consistent performers Kalahaar, Modello and True Gold, as the money poured in for all three. The decision was made a little easier for punters with the late scratching at the barrier of the latter, but in hindsight, one would have been better off “preferring to watch”.

Jumping quickly from barrier three, Dino Mak ($10.00) pushed forward with something to prove and took up the running. Full Clip ($11.00) also commenced well and sat outside the leader, while eventual favourite Modello ($3.40 fav) sat back in the field. Hoop Ryan Hill allowed New Time ($21.00) to drift to the rear – together with the favourite – the pair saving themselves for a final assault.

Swinging the bend, Military Secret ($17.00) – buried on the fence throughout – was gifted a dream split as the field panned wide, and charged to the lead. But it wouldn’t be for long. Kalahaar ($3.50), who was held up terribly at the 200m mark finally shook clear – pushing past Military Secret and looked as if it had done enough. But today wasn’t the day for the impeded Kalahaar as New Time, with momentum in hand, charged home from last on the turn to gather the leader in the shadows of the post for a brilliantly timed short neck victory.

Military Secret ran its best race this preparation to secure third, a further half-length away. Dino Mak was a further two lengths adrift in fourth, while Modello failed to fire and plodded home in fifth position.

It was sixth career win for the Jim Taylor trained chestnut gelding, who is becoming notorious for popping up at odds every preparation.

Chris Blackwell