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By Graham Potter | Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Doomben, March 27, 2010.
Track - Good 3. Rail - out 4.5m.
Open Handicap - 1350m. Time: 1-18.48. (Carrying 53kg).
1 Starzando; 2 Fangles; 3 Patties Mate.

The Sue Birney trained Starzando made it two-in-a-row when he produced race-winning acceleration to get up late to beat Fangles by a short-neck.

The seven-year-old had won over 1200m at Grafton in his previous start, but the step up in class and distance (coming to town and jumping from 1200m to 1350m) meant punters put a question mark behind his chance of victory. As a consequence Starzando went off at a starting price of $17.00. Throw in the fact that the second placed Fangles was a $14.00 chance and the eclipse of the main fancies was complete.

Jockey Jason Holder had Starzano back second last in the early running, some seven lengths off Test Edition and Kutalo who set the early gallop. Holder continued to hold his mount up for a run, going back to last, two wide on the turn.

On straightening, Starzando began to make steady progress and gradually built momentum as he tracked into the race. He improved his position to be only four lengths back at the 200m, but that deficit still meant he had plenty of work to do.

Up front Test Edition was tackled by Patties Mate who got to the front narrowly ahead a wall of chasers inside the final 100m. Starzando was one of those runners pushing forward into contention and he found something extra late to swamp all of his rivals, getting up in the last few strides to get the better of Fangles by a short-neck margin.

Patties Mate finished a further short half-head back in third place while the favourite Sommersea Drive, who was held wide throughout the running, held down fourth place without ever seriously threatening to have a major say in the result.

Jockey Jason Holder: “The horse drew well. The pace was on and it really suited him today.

“He is the type of horse that probably can’t stop and start. If the right runs present themselves he can attack the line nicely. He is a bit of a one-paced horse, but he put himself into it which was great.

“When I pulled him out I thought, geez he was going to be hard to beat. A couple of horses on my inside were coming up, but he really attacked the line lovely.

“The Grafton win (at his last start)was difficult to line up form-wise here in town, but we went into the race knowing that he couldn’t have done any more than win last start ... so, being a last start winner, we had to be happy that he was racing ok and would have every chance.”

Winner (Starzando): 13.00 out to 17.00.
Favourite (Sommersea Drive): 2.90 out to 3.00. Finished fourth.

Masai Pride (P. Hammersley) jumped inwards at the start and brushed Bitabiff (J. Bowditch). Synonym (J. Byrne) was slow to begin.

Sommersea Drive (M. Cahill) was caught three wide on the first turn and the horse was obliged to race three wide without cover for the majority of the event. Bitabiff was also obliged to race wide for the majority of the event.

Kutalo (S. Bogenhuber) shifted out off the rails near the 900m when not fully clear of Fangles (J. Taylor). S. Bogenhuber, rider on the first occasion Kutalo, was advised to ensure there is sufficient room before shifting ground.

Near the 600m, Fangles (J. Taylor) shifted out to improve and made contact with Bitabiff (J. Bowditch), forcing it four wide.

Synonym (J. Byrne) was held up for clear running rounding the home turn and could not get clear at any stage until the latter part of the race. Fangles had difficulty obtaining clear running in the straight.

Kutalo lost its off-fore plate in running.

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