The Last Leg

Square Dancer

After a gutsy effort down the stretch, Square Dancer picked up his first win of the year last time out, holding off a fast closing Cyclone Dan in the second leg of the Marathon Series. Both will return for the series finale on Sunday, with a few new faces making this a riveting event.

The Phil Hall trained Absolutely Stylish needs little introduction to Club Members after going gate to wire in Dancer’s first start of the year. Typically taking a leading position, any lack of pace will play into the hands of the son of Uncle Mo and while his form has been on a decline he has obvious class when loose on a lead.

The antithesis to the Hall entrant will be Pat Jarvis’ class dropping He’s Got Ego. Calling the five-year-old a late closer would perhaps be an understatement, given the large amount of distance he likes to give the leading pack before unleashing his trademark surge down the stretch. Although he hasn’t picked up a win this season he has had three seconds, including the BC Cup Marathon where his late bid came short by only a neck.

The final newcomer will be Will to Gold who slots in as the 15/1 morning line outsider who will be looking to replicate a well timed late run to win at the $4,000 non-winners-of-two level last time out.

Returning from the second leg of the Marathon Series will be the second and third placed Cyclone Dan and Sanawar who are both known threats over this distance and both showed enough in defeat to come back at the longer distance.

As is often the case in these marathon races, this will likely be a real rider’s event, with the mile-and-a-half trip being a tough one to judge, especially with the vast difference in running styles between the entrants.

Richard Hamel gave Dancer a well-judged ride last time out, which will be a cause of optimism for Club members who will remember the importance of Aaron Gryder’s marathon masterclass when riding Shooting Jacket last year. Hamel’s experience will be put to the test when trying to balance keeping close enough to Absolutely Stylish to prevent him running off with the race, while leaving enough in the tank to repel the inevitable late kick from Cyclone Dan and He’s Got Ego.

Fast Bid

After being ready to run for the last couple of weeks and entering races that failed to fill, Fast Bid will be going sprinting for the first time at Hastings. While a longer trip would no doubt be preferred, Bidder’s willingness to break with her usual tactics and deploy a close-to-the-action running style last time out had Clubbers lauding her versatility, so we will be crossing out fingers she can repeat the trick on Monday. Romario Saunder is booked to ride after being her jockey in her Hastings debut.

As is often the case with these non-winners-of-four races at Hastings there is a battle tested field entered against her, headlined by G M T Baby, Tattooed Kitty and Mousey Mousey. Bidder will take the outside gate and will be up against quite a few new faces to Club Members:

  1. Expensive Taste – after scratching out of Bidder’s last race, jockey Richard Hamel will be hoping that the almost three month layoff does not hamper his mount’s chances. She has proven a threat at this distance already though after finishing 2018 with a pair of sprint wins.
  2. Mousey Mousey – last seen taking on Square Dancer et al. in the second leg of the Marathon Series – fitness should be no challenge for the Rob Gilker trainee. She has been a formidable competitor at the $4,000 level this year and will be looking for her fifth 2019 victory.
  3. Tattooed Kitty – an obvious candidate for a win photo will be the Phil Hall trained daughter of Wildcar Heir. After coming second to Yes Please in the August 26th offering of this race she won’t need much improvement to add to the one win she has picked up this year.
  4. Wild Wilko – the 20/1 morning line outsider will make her Hastings career debut after a 2019 campaign at Emerald Downs which saw her pick up two wins earlier in the year. The first race around our bullring can be a steep learn curve, so may need this race for a bit of experience.
  5. Ourevelady – after an off the pace win last time out at the $4,000 level, Ourevelady has picked up three wins this year and with the apprentice weight allowance afforded by Lenny Seecharan will be the joint lightest in this race at 113 pounds.
  6. G M T Baby – the daughter of Shrug has put together a solid three-year-old campaign running at a higher level in races restricted sophomore races. Last time out she took the step into open age category for $8,000 and ran out the winner by a length, so this slight step down in class should make her a tough competitor on Monday.
  7. Bad and Bougie – this Erick Gutierrez trained four-year-old is another who has notched up a couple of wins this year (albeit earlier in the year while still running in Phil Hall’s barn). Having hit the board in all but one of her races this year, she always factors to give her best effort and may offer a honest wagering option should she go off at a similar price to her 8/1 morning line.

This is a wide open race which will have the late pick 4 players scratching their heads as they try to figure out where a Washington State shipper and two consistent three-year-olds will figure in the proceedings.

Given the shorter trip, Club members will probably be hoping to hit the board, rather than be expecting a win. How she fares sprinting will be interesting to watch and if nothing else Bidder has already shown how resilient she can be, so we’ll be crossing our fingers that she can round off the weekend with another impressive performance.

2 thoughts on “The Last Leg

    1. Hi Dennis,

      All of the agreements for the club horses are year-to-year and are re-evaluated after the close of the season, dependant on how the horse has been performing etc.




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