Day At The Track

Advance Attack still in champ's shadow

01:29 AM 26 Jan 2009 NZDT
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Graeme 'Daddy' Lang
Graeme 'Daddy' Lang
Peter Staples Photo

Living in the shadow of an all-conquering super star hasn't been easy for Advance Attack but his trainer Graeme Lang believes the entire has more than held his own since making the trek from New Zealand to Australia. As the brother of Courage Under Fire, Advance Attack was faced with living up to his brother's reputation every time he stepped out.

In Launceston on Sunday night the seven-year-old entire delivered the gods when he powered home to win the Betfair Free-For-All over 2200 metres.

It was his first win since March last year when he scored in the Hamilton Cup and despite the gap between wins Lang has been pleased with the stallion's efforts.

"I've had the horse for about 18 months and he's been a great hose for me." Lang said.

"He's always had a little problem living up to his brother's reputation (Courage Under Fire) but this little fella has won nearly $400,000 so you can't knock him,' he said.

Advance Attack was originally trained by Brian Hancock and he took the horse to Tasmania for only his second start in the 2005 Australian Derby in which he finished ninth and beaten nearly 20 metres, ironically by the Graeme Lang-trained and driver Im Yosemite Sam.

Advance Attack is part owned by legendary Australian thoroughbred trainer John Hawkes who became involved courtesy of his friendship with Hancock.

He went on to win a heat of the Breeders Crown as a three-year-old before finishing a luckless fourth in the $134,000 final.

Lang has dispatched the seven-year-old to Tasmania to race due to the horse's M6 assessment and a lack of suitable races for him in Victoria.

"He's on a very awkward mark."

"He either has to race against the very best, if we get a run, or he doesn't race at all because he's ineligible for the country free-for-alls."

"He's basically a second-tier free-for-aller so, to avoid the god ones that are here at the moment for our carnivals, I decided to send him to Tasmania to test the waters," he said.

On Sunday night Advance Attack was partnered by Tasmania's premier reinsman Gareth Rattray who had the horse in a handy position in the one-out line from his second-row draw soon after the start.

Rattray waited until halfway down the back straight to make his move. Advance Attack pounced on the leaders at the top of the straight and staved off late challengers from eventual minor placegetters Foxfighter and Majestic Emperor.

The win took Advance Attack's career tally to 25 of which 10 were captured in New Zealand as a two and early three-year-old.

Peter Staples

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