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By Graham Potter | Tuesday, November 7, 2023

The Little Dance, a race worth $750 000 over 1500m at Randwick on November 7 was always going to be a mouth-watering prospect for trainers Corey and Kylie Geran and the host of connections of the six-year-old gelding Without Revenge who was a recent addition to the team having been purchased by Kobie O’Brien.

The team arrived with little fanfare at Randwick. In fact, you could say they were hardly noticed and certainly not respected in the preamble, to the degree that Without Revenge was roundly neglected in the betting (he would jump at a starting price of $201) but everyone soon found out that Without Revenge was not there to merely make up the numbers and just go around.

He was there to shake up the pre-race thinking and … win, lose or draw … he was intent on laying down the law to his opposition, which included the $3.50 race favourite Cotehele (John O’Shea / Nash Rawiller) and runners from the yards of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, Bjorn Baker and Kris Lees … amongst other.

Without Revenge, the only Queensland representative in the race, had to jump from the visitor’s draw (barrier draw fifteen out of twenty), but jockey Tom Sherry and the Geran team had only one thing in mind for Without Revenge on leaving the gates.

Without Revenge would push the envelope from the start with Sherry powering him forward from the break and helping him find a prime early position, sitting second, a little under a length outside of the leader, the $15 chance For Valour, after the field had travelled 300m.

The pace remained fairly hectic to the turn, with the field becoming strung out, but Without Revenge didn’t flinch as Sherry moved him up to share the lead alongside For Valour on the point of the home turn.

Sherry then asked Without Revenge to continue on, a task he tackled with relish as he and For Valour became engaged in a punishing stride-for-stride battle in the first half of the home straight which lasted until approaching the 200m mark where Without Revenge eased ahead of his game rival, with both runners still working hard … both still full of fight.

That left Without Revenge in a narrow lead with 200m left to run, but the pressure was unrelenting.

Not that Without Revenge was about to cry enough.

In spite of his concentrated effort in the first half of the race and his energy sapping battle with For Valour for much of the home straight, Without Revenge kept on fighting all the way to the line.

If he was to be beaten, they would have to beat him. He was not giving anything away cheaply.

Without Revenge still led with 150m left to run, but the swoopers were coming now, most notable the flying grey Spangler who rattled home down the centre of the track under Tommy Berry to hit the front 100m from home.

Cotehele also slipped past Without Revenge late in a busy finish, but third place still looked on for Without Revenge until Lions Roar finished strongly from behind, getting up to claim second spot ahead of Cotehele (third) with Without Revenge being pushed back to fourth place … finishing just 1.85 lengths behind the winner.

The gutsy performance of a finely-tuned Without Revenge and the excitement it created would have made this the best fourth place finish this training partnership and ownership group have ever experienced.

In essence, this was a very satisfying experience for all concerned, one they will always remember.

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Tom Sherry ... a great ride which helped the underdog give his opponents a real scare

Photo: Graham Potter
Tom Sherry ... a great ride which helped the underdog give his opponents a real scare

Photo: Graham Potter
Race sequence: Sky Channel
Race sequence: Sky Channel
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