Desert explodes into Stradbroke contention after looking a bit dusty

When Desert Lord got clear at the 200m mark, he let down and put his rivals away, winning by 3½ lengths from Island Missile ($26) with pacemaker Oriental Runner ($16) another half-length back in third.

The son of High Chapparal ran his last 400m in 21.62 seconds, which is an indication of his potential.

“We have always had a good opinion of this horse, and the owners listened to us and gelded him at the right time,” co-trainer Michael Hawkes said. “They have got a racehorse now, and with that win he has earned his way to Brisbane and we will see what happens from there.

“He is still learning and could be six months away yet, but he is getting better all the time.”

Bookmakers reacted to Desert Lord’s  win by shortening him from $51 to $26 for the Stradbroke.

Supreme compliment

Gary Moore has believed for a while that Hostwin Supreme is the best sprinter he has trained; he just had to work out the puzzle with him at the barriers.

Moore, of course, prepared Winterbottom Stakes winner Takedown a couple of years ago, but Hostwin Supreme had surpassed him in the morning.

He finally delivered at Warwick Farm at his last start and arrived in time to make it back-to-back wins at Rosehill on Saturday.

“We knew what he could do but he was an awful gate horse. He got sent back to the trials a few times and we tried everything to switch him off,” Moore said. “Everyone at home has done a great job to get him better in the gates.

“Last start I just took all the gear off him and he ran home in 33.5 [for his last 600] and won. Only good horses do that.

“I think he is best sprinter I have trained, and he really showing now.”

Hostwin Supreme ($9) arrived in time to beat Call Me Royal ($4.80) , with Oxford Tycoon ($6.50), which was returning from injury, pokinge up on the fence for third in a blanket finish.

 Court order

It might be the middle May but after Elm Court ($6.50) just held off Plonka ($4.60) in Saturday’s Highway Handicap, attention was already turning to next year’s Country Championships.


The lightly raced pair of three-year-olds drew clear and the Matt Dale-trained Elm Court proved too strong to make it three wins from five starts.

“She’s much better than a Highway horse, that’s for sure,” apprentice Robbie Dolan said. “She needs to grow a bit, still a bit weak, but if she goes the right way, I think she’ll get a mile too.”

Ben Looker is keen to stick with Plonka, which was only having his third start.

«He may even be a Country Championships horse. He is still learning and set of blinkers could help him,” Looker said. “We didn’t have much luck from the gate, trapped three-wide. I reckon in six to 12 months, you’ll see a good horse.”

Kubrick settles

Glyn Schofield believes there are better things in store for Kubrick after he flew home to keep his unbeaten record at Rosehill on Saturday.

Kubrick ($4.8) was able to take advantage of good early speed and came with his winning surge with  Epinola ($5.50) to claim  the favourite Diamond Thunder ($3.50), which had been made to work  across, at the 200m mark and proved the strongest.

“The tempo was really strong early on, which allowed him to settle,” Schofield said. “He was in an awkward spot coming to the turn but things worked out and he ran on well. He wanted to have a look around over the final 50m, so there’s a bit more there in the tank.”

Kubrick won by a head with Diamond Thunder left in their wake 2½ lengths in third, with his rider Josh Parr ruing the early pressure.

“Too many pests spoil the party,” he said.

Owner’s $20m bet

The owner of disqualified Kentucky Derby winner, Maximum Security, has so much confidence in his horse he has issued a $20 million challenge to several rivals.

Gary West is offering $5 million each to the owners of Country House, War Of Will, Long Range Toddy and Bodexpress if any of those colts finish ahead of Maximum Security the next time they race against him this year.

Second best: Luis Saez on Maximum Security leads Flavien Prat on Country House in the Kentucky Derby.

Second best: Luis Saez on Maximum Security leads Flavien Prat on Country House in the Kentucky Derby.Credit:AP

«Most experts agree that Maximum Security was the best horse in the Kentucky Derby,» West said.

«I don’t care to discuss the controversy surrounding the events of the race and the disqualification of my horse at this time, but I firmly believe I have the best three-year-old in the country and I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is.»

According to West’s statement, there are no restrictions as to the type of race, location, distance or track surface, and the offer is only valid for the next time Maximum Security races against any of the other horses.

West will donate 100 per cent of Maximum Security’s winnings from the challenge to the Permanently Disabled Jockey’s Fund. If no owners accept the challenge, West pledged to give 10 per cent of Maximum Security’s future lifetime racing earnings to the organisation.

«I am doing this because I think it would be good for racing and a unique opportunity to bring more people into racing because of the elevated interest this would bring to the sport,» he said.

Racing writer for The Sydney Morning Herald

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