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By Graham Potter | Saturday, January 29, 2022

Desert Lord advanced his already very respectable record when he finished in a close-up third place behind Scallopini and Oscar Zulu in the Listed Sunshine Coast Cup at the Sunshine Coast on January 29.

The seven-year-old son of High Chaparral jumped at a starting price of $7.50 and Ryan Maloney’s first task in the saddle was to choose which path he would to navigate from the difficult number eleven barrier draw.

Desert Lord was away well enough and, initially, Maloney kept his options open by pushing forward but, when he realised Desert Lord was going to be held too wide, he took hold and settled Desert Lord back in eighth spot, some four lengths off the leader.

With Desert Lord still caught three wide it was still not the ideal run though and his margin behind the leader had increased to over six lengths, and a few places further back, in the sweep to the turn.

The difficulties continued on straightening with Desert Lord having a wall of runners in front of him as the race went on in earnest but, when Maloney angled Desert Lord slightly inward targeted a run in-between horses, the David Vandyke runner responded well, taking up the challenge.

Halfway up the straight Desert Lord had built positive momentum, but Scallopini ($9), who was about to take the measure of the early front-runner Animate ($6.50) after taking the trail in second spot for most of the running, had a clear couple of lengths advantage over Desert Lord at that stage and he was not stopping, while Oscar Zulu ($5.50) was producing a late charge, finishing best of all down the centre of the track.

In the end Scallopini’s sustained effort was good enough to hold all challenges at bay, beating Oscar Zulu by 0.20 lengths with the very game Desert Lord claiming a creditable third place.

That is now four feature races in a row in which Desert Lord has finished in the top three. … the Glasshouse, the Goldmarket, the Weetwood and the Sunshine Coast Cup.

His proud record shows eight wins and ten places from twenty-eight starts as his prize-money earnings continues to edge closer to the $500 000 mark.

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Desert Lord ... always give his best
Desert Lord ... always give his best
Desert Lord (in the purple cap second from left) chasing hard in the Sunshine Coast Cup finish.

Photos: Graham Potter
Desert Lord (in the purple cap second from left) chasing hard in the Sunshine Coast Cup finish.

Photos: Graham Potter
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