Jet-like Moraine Suzie flew home in ‘MiG’-like fashion to be “up there with the best of the best” in the Group 1 Sportsbet Topgun Stayers (730m) at The Meadows on Saturday night.
Coming into the race as a reserve – due to the shock scratching of NSW ‘maverick’ Super Estrella ($1.50 pre-race favourite) – Moraine Suzie proved there are “no points for second place” with an F-16 display on opening night of the world’s richest inaugural $4.1m Dream Chasers Festival.
And, in another first, the night’s G1 triple-header was broadcast live by racing.com.
In an even betting race, Moraine Suzie ($6.20) – trained at Lara by Brendan Pursell – landed a $75,000 first prize defeating Mepunga Ruby ($5.00F), who finished sixth in last year’s event, by 3L in 42.43sec. In an all-Victorian – all-female – trifecta, third placing was filled by Untapped ($8.00), a further 1.8L away.
“Something was amiss in Sydney, but tonight she proved she’s right… I couldn’t be more proud of her.”
Racecaller James Van de Maat said pre-race that Moraine Suzie was “perfectly drawn in box two”, and expert form analyst The Watchdog mooted she “can cause a boilover from Box 2”.
Prophetic words indeed! And “buzz the tower” she did!
“I didn’t think she fired in Sydney… So, we freshened her up and she’d been trialling really well,” an elated Pursell told racing.com. “Something was amiss in Sydney, but tonight she proved she’s right. I couldn’t be more proud of her.”
Ironically, Pursell was referring to Moraine’s Suzie’s third placing in mid-September – beaten 13.25L – to Super Estrella in a heat of the G2 Sydney Cup. She was also third – beaten 7.75L – to Super Estrella – in the G1 National Distance Championship in late August.
However, Moraine Suzie (May ’20 My Redeemer x Miss Bo Wicked) seized the day in the Topgun Stayers to notch her ninth win (with three seconds and seven thirds) – including five of her past eight – from 27 starts. Her stakes spiralled to $134,405.
It was a big night for Pursell (in fact, a $118,000 payday) who almost took everyone’s breath away with a ‘Topgun double’.
Two races (38 minutes) later, ‘Million Dollar Man’ McInerney finished runner-up to yet another reserve runner, Photo Man, in the $150,000 to-the-winner G1 Sportsbet Topgun Sprint (525m).
WATCH: “It’s time for the big one” … MORAINE SUZIE (9) salutes in the G1 Topgun Stayers in “some of the best flying I’ve seen to date”.
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