A typically well-judged ride by Adam Hyeronimus earned the Matthew Smith trained Plymouth Road (NZ) his first win since February 2017 when making light work of the $100,000, Evergreen Turf Bm 82 Handicap (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Plymouth Road (NZ) and Adam Hyeronimus, picture Stevehart.com.au
The Tavistock five-year-old gelding relished the Heavy 9 track and distance, the same he encountered at Warwick Farm at his last win, with Hyeronimus tactically running the rest of the six runners off their feet.
Hyeronimus went to the front with Plymouth Road (55.5kg) and set a steady tempo down the back and across the High Street side racing two out from the rail. Passing the 500m he stepped Plymouth Road up and went slightly wider and then set off for the line in a good rhythm.
Only Tiger (NZ) (55kg) and Tim Clark came out to chase, but a long way out it was for second place. At the line Plymouth Road was 2 1/4L in front of Only Tiger (Rip Van Winkle) with another long gap of 3 3/4L to Solo Mission (GB) (Sea The Stars) (58kg) and Tye Angland in third.
The time was 2.35.43 with the final 600m in 36.57. Plymouth Road paid $5.00 on fixed odds and $5.20 on the tote.
Plymouth Road, out of the Stark South mare Dastaria, co-owned by OTI Racing, has been consistent with placings between his wins and he had now earned stakes of $172,525.
Smith said that OTI Racing were sending his stable a new import from France and his name was also on the docket of the three-year-old colt Dark Acclaim at the recent Goffs Sale in London just prior to the Royal Ascot meeting.
Dark Acclaim, by Dark Angel and formerly trained by Marco Botti in the UK, was third in a stakes race at Newcastle-All Weather over 1600m on March 30th to the Lonhro colt Gronkowski who was a closing second to Justify in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes at Belmont, New York, on June 9th.
Smith said that the new ownership of Dark Acclaim was currently being assembled.
Matthew Smith, picture Sportpix.com.au
Evergreen Turf Bm 82 Handicap, photo finish picture ATC