Jockey Brenton Avdulla had to work hard for his money on Kubrick in the Bondi Stakes at Royal Randwick, taking a bold run along the rails before seizing control of the $1m race.
Some riders might have baulked at taking the narrow gap, plenty of horses would not have dared attempt the run — but neither Brenton Avdulla or Kubrick hesitated for a moment.
This was a win for bravery as much as talent. Avdulla and Kubrick scraped along the inside running rail for 100m at least before seizing control of the $1 million Bondi Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
“My foot is on fire from the ‘paint’,’’ said Avdulla, who’s right boot was almost shredded. “Big prizemoney and good horses make you do ‘silly’ things.’’
Charlie Duckworth, stable representative for trainer Chris Waller, surprisingly admitted he was reasonably confident Kubrick and Avdulla would squeeze through even though there was virtually no room.
“If there is one horse who would go for that run it is Kubrick, he is real competitor and enjoys the challenge,’’ Duckworth said. “Everyone knows Brenton is an aggressive rider so they are probably perfectly suited because they are prepared to have a crack.
“Brenton and Kubrick certainly tested the flexibility of the rail but that is what happens when you are racing for $1 million.’’
The inaugural Bondi Stakes may not have attracted an elite field of three-year-old milers but the race proved a real spectacle with Kubrick ($3.70 equal favourite) bursting through to win by a length from his stablemate Pancho ($21) with early leader Colada ($8) just over two lengths away third.
Just Thinkin’ ($3.70 equal favourite) seemed to have every chance before finishing only fifth.
Kubrick is raced by Denise Martin’s Star Thoroughbreds and gave the popular syndicator a hat-trick of $1 million race wins this year.
“We won the Magic Millions (Fillies and Mares race with Invincibella), Fiesta (Inglis 3yo Sprint) and now Kubrick,’’ Martin said.
“It’s very exciting for my owners. I’ve got to say what a great job Chris Waller and his team do and what a super ride by Brenton.’’
Kubrick had been unplaced in all three starts leading into the Bondi Stakes but Duckworth said the colt had legitimate excuses every start.
“He needed his first two runs then in the Caulfield Guineas he drew wide and was never on the track,’’ Duckworth said.
“But everyone can forgive him now for a tough run from an awkward alley in the Caulfield Guineas.
“Any million dollar race is hard to win. We were lucky to have a tough colt like him who bustled his way through that gap.’’
Duckworth said Kubrick has probably done enough for the spring but the improving Pancho might be given his chance in the latter part of the Melbourne carnival.
“Pancho had to come around the field to make his own luck rather than the opposite of what Kubrick had to do,’’ Duckworth said.
“Chris will see how Pancho comes through this race but there is a stakes race over 1800m at Flemington during the Cup Carnival which might suit him.’’ – Ray Thomas, The Daily Telegraph.