Wall Street drives home over Ginga Dude and Keep The Peace (rail). www.raceimages.co.nz
Only a nose away from winning the Triple Crown during the Spring Carnival at Hastings, top racehorse Wall Street (6 B. G. Montjeu – Villa Wanda, by Grand Lodge) booked himself a trip to Melbourne for the Cox Plate following his win in the $250,000, Group I, Kit Ormond Memorial Spring Classic, raced under weight-for-age conditions over 2040-metres at Hastings on Saturday.
On August 28, Wall Street suffered a nose defeat to Keep The Peace (Keeper) when resuming from a spell in the group one Mudgway Stakes (1400m), turning the tables to win the group one Windsor Park Plate (1600m) a fortnight ago.
The Jeff Lynds-trained galloper has continued to improve during the series, stripping in superb order for his first assignment beyond a mile, and the manner of his victory over the Cox Plate journey suggests he is the right horse to be leaving New Zealand shores for a tilt against the best in Australia and their prestigious weight-for-age title.
Using his natural pace to overcome a wide gate early in proceedings, Wall Street settled outside the leader for rider Michael Coleman, appearing from that point on to have the situation under control.
With quickening powers to find a handy two-length advantage at the 300m, he continued to surge while rivals mounted their runs, hitting the line with a comfortable three-quarter length buffer.
Ginga Dude (Istidaad) finished second, with half-a-head to Keep The Peace (Keeper) in third.
The clock stopped at 2:02.97, the second fastest in the history of the race since the 2040-metres distance was established in 1995. Only the winning time of Cent Home in 2:02.16 was quicker, in 1999.
“Now we look to climb Everest”, said Lynds regarding the Cox Plate.
“After today’s run we have to have a crack. It will be a hard race, but they’re all NZ-bred and they’re there to be knocked off.”, Lynds said when referring to some of the runners in the betting market with a chance, namely the favourite, So You Think (High Chaparral), purchased by his trainer Bart Cummings from the draft of Windsor Park Stud at the New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sales in 2008.
Lynds is no stranger to conditioning a horse to contest the heavyweight weight-for-age Australasian classic, having trained Marconee (McGinty) to finish sixth to Octagonal (Zabeel) in the 1995 Cox Plate.
Wall Street flies from Auckland to Melbourne on Sunday week.
“He’s a majestic horse. He’s got that special factor and it will be interesting to see how he cops the Aussies”, said Lynds.
Having his third race ride on the horse in five weeks, Michael Coleman said, “He was keen early, but got across so easily and when I made him come back off the leader he relaxed nicely, he was super.”
“I was pretty confident when I asked him to quicken and he quickened really easily. I thought it would take a really good horse to get home over top of this one”, Coleman said.
While the win provided Lynds with back-to-back training successes in the race, having won last year with Vosne Romanee (Electronic Zone), Coleman was notching his third, after Moss Downs (Tom’s Shu) won in 1997 and Xcellent (Pentire) in 2005.
Coleman feels Wall Street can stack up in Australia.
“He’s such a big, bold horse and for a big horse he seems so light on his feet. He’s a good chance of making over there”, he said.
Wall Street is owned by Kevin Algie, Gerard Petersen, Michael Head, and Vern Curtis.
$691,275 are the earnings to date for Wall Street from his ten win, seventeen start career.
Australian bookmakers have Wall Street at 40-1 for the $3million, Group I, Tatts Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley racecourse in Melbourne on October 23.
Formerly known as the Kelt Capital Stakes, the race was run in the honour of Lady Katherine ‘Kit’ Wilder, nee Ormond, who as the matriarch of the dyed in the wool local racing Ormond family had passed away recently at the ripe old age of 99.