Krug fifth in Chariots of Fire
By Adam Hamilton
That was a Chariots Of Fire we won’t forget in a long time.
Menangle is often criticised for boring, one-dimensional racing, but last night’s $250,000 Group 1 Chariots Of Fire was anything but.
And it started from the first few strides.
Emerging Victorian Bettor Call Me shocked a few when driver Sofia Arvidsson blasted him off the gate in a quest to get across Kiwi star Krug.
Bettor Call Me eventually got there, but it took most of the first quarter when they ran in a head-spinning 24.3sec. Yes, that isn’t a typo.
The lead time took 0.5sec off the previous fastest run at Menangle, set by Hectorjayjay in the Miracle Mile.
It may well have been the fastest first quarter ever run in the world!
It was simply too much of a petrol burn for Krug (fifth) and Better Call Me (seventh).
But what about Bondi Lockdown’s effort to be three-wide and working in that first quarter, hit the front and still run second, beaten just 1.4m.
For context, Aaron Dunn’s young star did all that work in a 1min47.6sec mile. It took 1.2sec off the previous race record held jointly by Have Faith In Me (2016) and Jilliby Kung Fu (2018).
Surely, he gets a Miracle Mile on that run.
Remember, Our Waikiki beach ran second in the 2017 Chariots behind Lazarus and that got him a Miracle Mile berth.
While all the fireworks were unfolding in front, superstar driver Greg Sugars was sitting back and smiling on the underrated Better Eclipse.
Sugars found daylight when it mattered and Better Eclipse stormed home to give Sugars and his wife, Jess Tubbs, the biggest win of their training careers.
It was a masterful piece of planning matched only by a stunning drive.
And it was no major shock given Better Eclipse brilliantly won the Group 2 Carousel final at Menangle on Inter Dominion final night (December 11).
Tubbs dared to take Better Eclipse first-up into a Chariots qualifier after finishing sixth in the Vicbred 3YO final at Melton on New Year’s Eve.
Better Eclipse joined last Friday night’s Group 1 Newcastle Mile winner Mach Dan as the first two guaranteed runners in the $1 million Miracle Mile on March 5.
No doubt Bondi Lockdown's connections will have to wait until next week to learn their fate, but he would be a genuine winning hope in the Miracle Mile on what he did last night.