It was a local victory in the Gr.2 $75,000 Gold Coast Cup at Albion Park tonight (Saturday).
Well, it was in a roundabout way.
High priced former New Zealand gelding Field Officer, now in the care of the state’s premier trainer Grant Dixon, stormed to victory and thwarted the winning sequence of Sydney trained gelding and race favourite Ideal Scott and Bettor Draw.
Purchased by Kevin and Kay Seymour, the Christian Cullen 5yo caught the eye with a slashing debut effort in last week’s Be Good Johnny Sprint when coming from near last in the 1660m scamper in a time of 1;53.1 after drawing poorly.
Field Officer, again handled by Mathew Neilson showed early speed from his front-line draw and pushed forward to race outside the leader before obtaining cover.
Miracle Mile winner Baby Bling utilised her inside draw to advantage to lead before handing over to Devil Dodger at the 1400m point while both Mach Alert and Ideal Scott both made early moves.
The pressure was extreme throughout with Devil Dodger gaining no peace from Ideal Scott while Saucy Legend raced three-wide solo from the 1200m mark.
Heading down the back straight for the final time, Ideal Scott clearly travelled better than Devil Dodger while Field Officer made his move wider on the track.
In the straight, Ideal Scott led the way while Field Officer and Bettor Draw both charged setting up a gripping finish.
Field Officer arrived in time to score by a short head over Ideal Scott with Bettor Offer a further head away in third.
The time of 1;54.5 was a new track record for the 2138m event.
“As we all know, his effort last week was just sensational and he was better suited tonight with the extra distance and front-line draw.” Neilson said immediately after the race.
Field Officer looms as a genuine contender for next week’s opening leg of the new Grand Circuit season with the running of the Gr.1 $200,000 Garrards Queensland Pacing Championship over 2680m.
“I think he will take a power of beating again next week because he will relish the staying trip. He’s versatile and still on the improve; he’s a very good horse.
If I had followed through behind Mach Alert rather than coming wide when I did, he would’ve won even easier than what he did but it didn’t matter anyway.
He’s done that very well tonight and I’m sure all going to plan after next week, connections will look at a Sydney campaign with him.”
The effort of Ideal Scott in defeat was outstanding while connections of Baby Bling will be hoping for more luck next week.
by Chris Barsby