Criterion’s half-brother Comin’ Through staved off maligned stablemate Tom Melbourne in a desperate finish to Saturday’s Group III Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) at Randwick.
Comin’ Through ($2.30 fav), prepared by Chris Waller, was courageous in victory after working overtime to sit outside the leader Burning Passion in a contest that finished 0.02 seconds outside of Landsighting’s race record set in 2000.
The son of Fastnet Rock prevailed by a long head as Tom Melbourne ($3.20) settled for a third consecutive second placing since switching to the Waller stable mid-year. Mark Newnham’s Burning Passion ($5.50) was close-up in third, beaten another half-head.
Waller said Comin’ Through will have the chance to bolster his stallion resume when he lines up in the Group I Epsom Handicap (1600m) back at Randwick in a fortnight.
“I think that type of race will suit him. We took the risk of going four weeks between runs to make sure we kept a little bit of speed in him and most importantly still having him there for the Epsom in two weeks’ time with a bit of speed stepping up to the mile,” Waller said.
“If he draws a good gate in the Epsom he will be very hard to beat.”
Winning jockey Michael Walker wasted to 53kg to fulfil the engagement and will likely have to be at a similar weight on the colt in two weeks’ time.
” He is a very good horse, he is the reason I got down to 53kg to make it today,” Walker said.
” Hats off to Chris (Waller) he just placed this horse so well he thought he would leave four weeks between runs and that has probably won him the race, bring on the Epsom.”
Weights for the Epsom Handicap are due to be released on Monday. – Racenet.com.au