Barooga Brett claimed his second Group 1 trophy for 2019 at The Meadows when outpointing the best sprinters in the land in Saturday night’s Temlee (525m) and the track specialist’s sights are now firmly set on the Australian Cup.
Owned and trained by Brooke Ennis, Barooga Brett won the Group 1 Silver Chief at The Meadows on January 5, made the final of the Group 1 Maturity there last July and had won seven from 11 over the 525m course prior to the invitation-only Temlee.
But despite his imposing credentials at The Meadows, Barooga Brett, a son of Barcia Bale and Destini Gold, started at $7.50 from an awkward box six draw in the $100,000 to-the-winner Australian Cup lead-up.
After winning the Group 2 Cranbourne Cup one week earlier, Orson Allen started $2.40 favourite from box two, with Poke The Bear, runner-up at Cranbourne and winner of the Topgun, The Meadows’ other Group 1 invitational, the $3.30 second elect from box five.
Melbourne Cup hero My Redeemer was at $6.60, while underlining the depth of the field, Hasten Slowly, runner-up in both the Australian Cup and Topgun at the venue in 2018, was a $23.60 outsider.
Barooga Brett came out running and duelled for the lead with Orson Allen going into the first turn.
Barooga Brett gained the ascendancy soon after and he refused to surrender his hard-won advantage, increasing his lead in the home straight as he defeated Orson Allen by 2.77 lengths in a flying 29.65sec, eclipsing his previous personal best of 29.69sec.
“I am still in shock and my heart is racing and I think it will be for a while,” Brooke Ennis said.
“He got a great cart into the race but to be able to run 4.98sec was a huge surprise for me. I knew he was in a good position sitting behind Orson Allen and he did everyone very proud.
“Brett is continually improving and to have won a Group 1 race in the Silver Chief here and to do it again in an invitational is an exceptional effort.”
It was Barooga Brett’s 17th win at start 48, with his resume also featuring the Group 3 Cup Night Sprint at Sandown on Melbourne Cup night.
Hasten Slowly notched up another minor placing in a major at The Meadows, running third, with My Redeemer and Poke The Bear finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
There was an emotional note to the victory, with Barooga Brett previously owned by the late Norma Gost, who passed away last November.
Brooke and Jamie Ennis forged a successful association with Norma and partner Jim Psaila several years ago through the deeds of star stayer Lady Toy.
“We still share our wins with Jim,” Brooke said.
“Losing someone is always extremely sad but ‘Bretty’ is making this a very special time and we are sure Norma continues to watch down on him and be very proud.”
It was the second time Brooke Ennis and husband Jamie have won the Temlee, with superstar My Bro Fabio victorious in 2015.
This article was compiled by Gerard Guthrie and Molly Haines. Photos by Clint Anderson.