THE Alison Smith-trained Judo has sneaked home to pip Zabreeze at the post in the $15,000 Danielle Louise, George & Wayne Cooper Maiden Handicap (1000m) at Towac Park yesterday.
The chestnut gelding stormed home over the final furlong after it was Allan McRae’s five-year-old bay gelding Zabreeze that started well and led the entire length of the 1000m sprint until Judo edged him out by half a head.
Smith also claimed third with grey Moville Master finishing strongly, just a head back from Zabreeze.
The Orange-based trainer said after a strong second at Towac Park in his last run, Judo, the $3.20 favourite heading into the race, was always going to be tough to beat on a picture perfect day at the Racing Orange Saddle Up Sunday meeting.
“I actually thought both my horses would run nice races,” Smith said.
“I thought (Judo) did a really nice job.
“I know that horse was stopping but he showed a little bit of ticker to keep coming at it.”
Smith said hoop Jeff Kehoe did a stellar job on board Judo.
The pair timed their run to perfection.
“He’s only a little horse and carrying the 58 kilos, there’s not a lot of him either. On a slow seven, it’s not a bad effort,” she said.
Judo is now expected to be rested by Smith.
She said despite the strong win over the 1000m distance, Smith believes the four-year-old Judo may be better suited to a slightly longer race in the future.
“First we thought he was a speedy squid but he’s actually showed us now a bit later on he might get 12, 13, 1400 metres, which is what we would like him to do,” Smith said.
“He seems to be settling nice. He jumps out and comes back for the ride.”