The Joe Pride trained Ball Of Muscle and Glyn Schofield took the $150,000, listed Absolut Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on Thursday racing on the stand side of the straight sprint course and dominating the race.
Ball Of Muscle and Glyn Schofield lead the field, picture Quentinjlang.com
It was the seven-year-old Dubawi gelding’s first win since the 2015 Group 2 BTC Cup over 1200m at Doomben. However he showed he was returning to form when second to In Her Time in the listed Sydney Stakes over 1200m at Randwick at The Everest meeting on October 14th.
The field of 12 headed to the stand side of the course and Schofield eased Ball of Muscle across from barrier six and they were always leading. He stepped the tempo up over 200m out and they were in control with Ball Of Muscle (56kg) sprinting well to win with 1 3/4L in hand at the line.
Crystal Dreamer (Stratum) (56kg) and Damien Lane were second with Palazzo Pubblico (Conatua) (55kg) and Blake Shinn third, the margin a half-head.
The time was 56.81 on the Good 3 track with the final 600m in a quick 32.72. Ball Of Muscle was the $2.60 fixed odds favourite.
“I would like to think we have got another couple of seasons left in this bloke. There is a chance he will go over to WA for the Winterbottom Stakes at the start of December, but we will make that decision once we have got him home and taken a look at him. If not, I would like to bring him back here for the Lightning, because he went really well down the straight. Whatever route we take with him, I am sure he will win more races for us in the near future. We have just got to keep him sound,” said Pride.
“He is well named and he is very quick. He wanted to run to the outside rail, which is what he’s used to. That wasn’t always the plan, but he was travelling so comfortably that I was happy for him to go there,” said Schofield.
The win, Ball Of Muscle’s ninth from 31 starts, took his earnings to close to $1 million at $900,325 for owners Mr A J Rix, Mr M J Rix, Ungar Family, Mr T M Ungar, Mr P J Trowbridge, Mr J W Owsnett, Mr I G Cornell, Mr N B Couper, N P G, Mr R P Coombs.
Ball Of Muscle and Schofield, picture Quentinjlang.com