Reigning champion jockey Anton Marcus was at his brilliant best as he got hot favourite Happy Archer (AUS) home by the narrowest of margins in the Gr 2 Gold Bracelet over 2000m at Greyville on Saturday, following a hard-fought battle with Checcetti (SAF). Frequent Flyer (SAF) stayed on for third ahead of Keep On Dreaming (SAF).
As expected, there was no pace on and Happy Archer found herself in front. Marcus let her bowl along with Beloved Betty very keen in second and Checcetti travelling comfortably on the rail in third. Frequent Flyer and Keep on Dreaming were next best ahead of Europe To Africa.
Happy Archer tried to kick away from them in the straight and quickly shook off Beloved Betty, who never looked to be going well. Checcetti moved up ominously alongside the favourite and these two pulled away from the rest to fight out.
Checcetti appeared to have Happy Archer's number a furlong out but Marcus switched the whip to his left hand and got her to rally. The two went hammer and tongs for the line and it only in the very last stride that Happy Archer was able to get her nose in front, much to relief of many a Pick 6 punter.
Happy Archer looked to have the race at her mercy following the scratchings of Beach Beauty and Ilha Bela, but the trip was always going to be a challenge, given that her best form has been over a mile and was venturing this far for the first time. She was stretched to the limit here but showed great courage under pressure. The race marked the middle leg of a feature race treble for the Sean Tarry yard, with The Hangman (Premier's Champion Stakes) and Heavy Metal (Darley Arabian) also getting in on the act.
Checcetti has been in good form over the past few months and this was a particularly creditable effort when one considers that she was having her second run in the space of six days. She went close to landing her biggest career victory here and it took an exceptional ride to deny her.
Frequent Flyer ran her usual honest race and continues to pick up black type almost every time she steps onto a race track, while Keep On Dreaming - who looked by far the rank outsider of the field - took her chance well enough in this reduced line-up to earn a stake cheque.
4 ch f Dubawi (IRE) - So Tempted (AUS) by Jeune (GB)
Messrs J S Nestadt, L M Nestadt, D M Nathan & S M Nathan
Bred by Racetree, Qld
Winning trainer: Sean Tarry
|Race 9 - R200K - GOLD BRACELET (Grade 2)
Fillies and Mares at Weight-For-Age - 2000m
||HAPPY ARCHER (AUS)
||KEEP ON DREAMING
||Nooresh Juglall *0.0
||EUROPE TO AFRICA (AUS)