Balraj sparkles again

By Adam Hamilton

BALRAJ crossed the ditch without much fanfare, but it hasn’t taken long for him to become one off the buzz horses of Australia.

The lightly-raced Art Major three-year-old is unbeaten in four Aussie starts and made one heck of a statement scoring at his first Menangle run yesterday (Tuesday).

Balraj won by 22.4m, but it was his time which did most of the talking.

The gelding’s 1min49.1sec mile was an Australasian record for a three-year-old, slicing 0.5sec off Muscle Factory’s record.

Just as he did winning by what seemed the length of the home straight at Newcastle a few weeks ago, driver Robbie Morris crushed his rivals with a 26.1sec split from the 800-400m. 

It’s the second time in as many starts the Shaun Simiana-trained pacer has smashed a record.

His 1min50.9sec mile win at Newcastle two starts back on July 15 was an all-aged record for the track which has hosted some off the sport’s greats in the Newcastle Mile.

Balraj raced just five times in NZ for trainer Steven McRae, missing a place in first three runs then showing a glimpse of his potential winning back-to-back Forbury Park races on February 21 and March 7.

He was sold to Australia soon after and won his Aussie debut at Penrith by 7.1m on June 6.

Since then he’s won by 25.7m at Newcastle on June 14, 55.9m again at Newcastle on July 15 and now Menangle by 22.4m

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