Krug beaten a week out from Chariots of Fire

Star Kiwi raider Krug’s Chariots Of Fire hopes were dealt a blow when he was beaten on his merits at Menangle last night.

Cran Dalgety’s stable star led and ran slick time, but was simply outstayed by emerging Victorian star Rock N Roll Doo in a major upset. 

The official timing malfunctioned, but private clockers had Rock N Roll Do running close to a 1min49sec mile in driving rain after being three-wide early and sitting parked.

It looked Krug’s race to lose when he easily won a short duel for the front with star Victorian raider Act Now, who quickly snagged and dropped in behind the leader.

While driver Jack Trainor settled Krug into a rhythm, Luke McCarthy was still working forward three-wide on Rock N Roll Doo from the outside draw.

It was clear rounding the home bend that Krug had Act Now beaten behind him, but just when you expected Trainor to slip him away, McCarthy unleashed Rock N Roll Doo.

“Luke said he actually just nursed him around the last bend and over the final stages,” trainer Mick Stanley said.

Paying $17.30, Rock N Roll Doo won by 3.3m over Krug with $61 shot Chevron Art snatching third spot.

Act Now, winner of the Victoria Derby and Breeders Crown last season, ran way below his best as a tiring seventh.

Rock N Roll Doo started from the outside because he galloped at the start of the Group 1 4YO Bonanza at Melton the week before and placed out of the draw.

“He’s back in the draw for the Chariots,” Stanley said. “We trialled him the Monday after the Bonanza at Melton and now he’s had this race, too, so he’s back in the draw. He’s not fast out, but he can hold his own if he gets a good draw.”

Rock N Roll Doo added to the strong Victorian influence in the race, which will be raced at Menangle on February 19. Six of the 10 finalists are trained in Victoria.

They include the 4YO Bonanza winner Bondi Lockdown, who is $2.80 pre-draw favourite.

Stanley wasn’t surprised by Rock N Roll Doo’s monstrous win.

“He’s always had that sort of talent, but we’ve taken him along steadily as we think he could make a Grand Circuit horse,” he said.

“Put it this way, if he won the Chariots, I’d be open to offers from anyone who wanted him to run in their slot in The Race at Cambridge.

“And we’d also run him in the Miracle Mile if he did enough in the Chariots to get an invite into it.”

Chariots Of Fire field : Krug, Bondi Lockdown, Rock N Roll Doo, Titian Raider, Better Eclipse, Better Call Me, Beyond Delight, Chevron Art, Delightful Dude, Spring In His Step, Rickoshay (1st emerg), Captain Crusader (2nd emerg).

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