The ‘win and you’re in’ race for the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap has been taken out by a horse without a nomination, as Surf Dancer ($34) has produced a blowout for punters in the Group 3 BRC Sprint.
It’s taken a faultless 10 out of 10 steer from jockey Joshua Parr on the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained six-year-old, after a very disappointing first-up effort in The Archer at Rockhampton on April 30.
He settled mid-field throughout the 1350m journey and when asked for an effort the outsider obliged to kick clear, holding off the challenge of the New Zealand-trained Dragon Leap ($41) who put in a lunge as well.
Scallopini ($6.50) was a drifter in the market but held on nicely for third position, while Cardinal Gem ($5) will lose no admirers after closing strongly from the wide barrier.
2023 Group 3 BRC Sprint Replay – Surf Dancer
Co-trainer Adrian Bott made the trek up north and spoke on Surf Dancer on behalf of the stable, suggesting that if you forgave his run in The Archer, Surf Dancer was always going to be competitive on Saturday.
“Unfortunately things didn’t work out in Rockhampton,” said Bott.
“Maybe it was the travel up there. He’s been able to bounce back really well here.
“We thought this race may be a bit sharp for him. We saw early in the race that they went strong early and Josh (Parr) struggling to hold his position where he was.
“In the mid stages then was able to get the right runs on the inside and he was strong late.
“There’s no doubt he’s most effective over the mile trip but he’s been great today.”
Jockey Joshua Parr was the beneficiary of picking up the ride with Tim Clark committed to Excellida in the same race, giving credit to him as well.
“He settled back off a strong tempo and that gave him a chance to show a strong turn-of-foot,” said Parr.
“He was ultra impressive here today and I was happy to get the call up.
“I got handballed this race today under circumstances with Timmy (Clark), the stable rider, being commited elsewhere so I was fortunate enough to pick up the ride.”