By Adam Hamilton
STAR filly Dr Susan added some serious Kiwi flavour to Bathurst’s huge Gold Crown night, but not without a scare.
Just as she did in the Victoria Oaks, the Cran Dalgety and Nathan Purdon-trained filly galloped in the score-up and caused a false start.
Thankfully, she got everything right in the Victoria Oaks and did the same at take-two at Bathurst when she surged through from the pole to hold the lead.
That was effectively the race because driver Anthony Butt then rated things to his own terms in front then fended off a challenge from Amelia Rose and later Vincenzina to win easily.
It’s continued a fantastic Aussie campaign for Dr Susan. Her eight runs over here have netted six wins, a second and a fourth.
She’s earned over $200,000 during the raid.
Butt just missed a Group 1 double when former Kiwi pacer Perfect Stride was just edged-out by the much-improved Focus Stride in the Gold Chalice for three-year-old colts and geldings.
It continued Perfect Stride’s frustrating run of minor placings in major races after his Victoria and NSW Derby placings.
Perfect Stride had to burn to hold the front, copped some midrace pressure and was out-slugged by Focus Stride in slick 1min55.7sec mile rate for 2260m.
It was a big result for leviathan owner Emilio Rosati, who owns the first two.
Focus Stride, trained and driven in Victoria by David Miles, managed just one placings from 11 runs as a two-year-old, but has gone to a new level this term with seven starts netting six wins and a second.
Miles put the improvement down to having Focus Stride gelded.
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WHEN Victorian owner Danny Zavitsanos won last November’s NZ Cup with Cruz Bromac he threw Mark Purdon in the air after the race.
He’s have done the same with the first person he saw if Covid-19 restrictions didn’t keep him away from Bathurst last night to watch his two-year-old filly Joanna win the Group 1 Gold Tiara final.
“This is a fairytale come true,” he said. “Bathurst means so much to me. I won a consolation with one of the first horses I ever bought, Jodila in 2012 and I’ve gone back every year trying to win one of the big ones.
“Add to it we’ve named this filly after Joanna (Danny’s wife) and it’s just the most amazing feeling.”
Joanna led, copped plenty of midrace pressure from a headstrong Orchid Stride, and just kept finding to win in fantastic style for driver Amanda Turnbull and trainer Emma Stewart.
Such was the pressure, Joanna took a full second off the class record with a 1min53.7sec mile rate for 1730m.
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BRIAN Portelli’s fairytale ride continued at Bathurst last night.
Portelli was on cloud nine after his Bettors Delight colt Tasty Delight scored an upset win in the Group 2 Sapling Stakes at Menangle on March 7.
It took him three weeks to raise the bar.
Tasty Delight overcome a tricky draw and the hardest run in the race to win the Group 1 Gold Crown final.
Hot favourite Lochinvar Chief led and dictated, but just when he looked set for victory, he started to wilt and Tasty Delight raised another effort after sitting parked.
Tasty Delight grabbed victory right on the line from Lochinvar Chief with Clayton Tonkin’s Idyllic roaring home from a mile back for an eye-catching third.