Boom youngster Highly Explosive showed she’s a serious contender for next month’s group 1 Sapphire Crown following her stunning victory in the GOTBA Karen Leek Memorial at Sandown Park last night.
Drawn awkwardly in box 5, Highly Explosive began cleanly but was headed through the first turn by the reserve, Strada, and favourite Devel Sixteen. She drew level with Devel Sixteen as they entered the back straight but made little ground on the leader through the middle section before unleashing a devastating burst in the run home to win by 2.5 lengths in 29.24. As impressive as her time was, it was her sub 10.40 run home time that most caught the eye.
“After missing a bit of work, yeah she went super,” said he ecstatic trainer Craig Treherne, revealing she hadn’t been off the lead since her last start victory at Horsham on 6 May.
“She’ll improve and keep improving, we just need some continuity in her races.”
It was Highly Explosive’s sixth career win from just 12 starts. She showed her talent with a brilliant 29.16 win on her Sandown Park debut in March and was one of the key fancies for the recent Launching Pad series. Awkward box draws in both the heat and semi final of the Launching Pad – she drew box 7 both times – kept her from showing her best but has since bounced back with consecutive best of night victories.
Despite still being nine days away from her 2nd birthday, Highly Explosive has been installed a $12 chance to in the Sapphire Crown and also sits in third place on the Speed Star leader board. While those rich sprint races are her immediate target, Treherne believes her future lies over more ground.
“She got home in 10.29 when she won in a few weeks ago so eventually I think that’s where her future lies.
“It’s looking good, not only on the racing front, but as a broody. She’s from a very good litter, she’s 29kgs, she’s built like a stayer – long and lean. In fact, no one wanted her as a pup she was so lean and skinny. It’s amazing.”
In other highlights on a very good night of racing:
* Lakeview Walter made it four wins from as many starts at Sandown Park when taking out the ANZAC Appeal Cup. The last start group 3 winner took full advantage of box 1 to defeat the high quality field in 29.28. Handler Luke Whelan confirmed the group 1 Harrison-Dawson is next on the agenda for the 24 month old, for which he is currently rated a $26 chance.
* Despite being the youngest and least experienced runner in the race, Ambitious came from near last to win the $14,500 ABBA Kennels GOTBA Cup.
* David Geall recorded his 100th winner at Sandown Park with Koblenz. Bred by David’s wife Rose and is out of their superstar sprinter Up Hill Jill, Koblenz is owned by a syndicate of family members, many of whom were trackside to share in the milestone.
Click here for full results and replays from Thursday night’s meeting.
WATCH: Despite being unwanted as a pup, Highly Explosive (5) is now a group 1 contender after another brilliant win at Sandown Park
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