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By Graham Potter | Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Doomben, February 20, 2010.
Track - Dead 5. Rail - out 1.5m.
1MW Handicap - 1350m. Time: 1-19.41. (Carrying 57.5kg).
1 Kneel And Raise; 2 Black Morgan; 3 Telesto Warrior.

A bold early effort and a brave finish was the two punch combination that Kneel And Raise used to knock out his opposition.

Under the shrewd guidance of jockey Shane Scriven, the top weight landed second, but then went back to fifth as his rider took a brief look before sizing up the best option for his mount.

The decision, after seeming to have little chance to get in, was to go forward, not at breakneck speed, but rather just a gradual move up to race alongside Swinging To Win who had chased to the lead early.

These two runners took the field along at a useful gallop until the approach the turn where Swinging To Win was already under pressure and Scriven gave Swinging To win a quick backward glance as he left that one behind and surged into a clear lead on straightening.

A kick at the top of the straight and the commitment to maintain that effort all the way to the line were huge factors in Kneel And Raise’s favour as he left his rivals scrambling in the first half of the straight before frustrating all of their efforts over the final 200m, doing enough to hold off a wall of horses who arrived too late to spoil his party.

Kneel And Raise still had 0.75 lengths to spare at the line. The judge found it more difficult to sort out the minor placings as less than half-a-length separated the next four runners to cross the line.

This was Kneel And Raise’s seventh win from twenty-three starts.

John Dougall (father of trainer Tom Dougall): “I’m just the stand-in trainer. Tom hasn’t been too good. He had an op on his shoulder on Monday. He might be feeling a little better at the moment.

“It was a very good run. He’s been plagued by bad barriers lately. I thought the same was going to happen to him today, but thank goodness Scriv (Shane Scriven) got him home.

“He’s done a mighty job. He is very lovely, honest horse ... a pleasure to do anything with really.

“He is owned by Townsville interests and we plan to go right through with him up there. We took him to the north last year, but we only got as far as MacKay and aborted the trip.

“This time we hope to do the three ... Rocky, Mackay and Townsville.”

Jockey Shane Scriven: “I learnt a few things about him the last time I rode him (two runs back when fifth behind Fifteen Carat). He is a beautiful old horse, but he has got one thing in his mind. He wants to do things his way. I tried to change that after we had gone 200m and he wasn’t having a bar of it.

“So I just played his game and let him run along and, mate, he showed a lot of fight ... but that’s what I mean. I let him do what he wanted to do and he was happy doing it.

“I hope to get back on him again. The people who have got him ... we go way back. Tom, I believe has had an operation on his shoulder, so I’ve got to wish him all the best there. But, yeah, everybody is happy with the result.”

Winner (Kneel And Raise): 9.00 out to 10.00.
Favourite ( Johnnieontherocks): 2.90 out to 3.30 in to 3.20. Finished ninth.

Ultra (B. Pengelly) jumped outwards at the start and brushed Telesto Warrior (G. Colless).
Eddie Rapido (J. Taylor) was slow to begin.

Black Morgan (D. Brown), which had been held up rounding the home turn in the early stages of the straight, shifted out leaving the 300m to improve and in doing so made contact with Chastelain (J. Stanley).

J. Bryne, rider of Johnnieontherocks, which performed disappointingly, explained that whilst the gelding travelled well in the early stages of the race it did not travel as strongly as it had at its previous starts, and passing the 600m he was compelled to ride the horse along just to maintain
his position.

A short distance thereafter, Johnnieontherocks commenced to tire and failed to respond to his riding. In consideration of the performance of Johnnieontherocks, J. Byrne was of the opinion that the gelding had come to the end of its preparation.

Trainer J. McLachlan concurred with the comments of J. Byrne and indicated to stewards that the
horse would be sent for a spell. A post-race veterinary examination of Johnnieontherocks failed to reveal any significant abnormalities.

Following this race the track rating was upgraded to Dead 4.

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