Smart dude foils plunge horse

| August 4, 2013
Clevadude smart winner at Moonee Valley

Clevadude smart winner at Moonee Valley

Clevadude showed the benefit of race experience in his victory over the heavily backed New Zealander Cauthen.

A rematch is on the cards for the boom New Zealand three-year-old Cauthen after a promising second in his Australian debut at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

Backed from $2.05 in to $1.80 on the strength of an eight-length win at his only other start, Cauthen raced greenly and lost several lengths when he threw his head in the air and bumped another runner at the 300m in the first, a benchmark 78 over 1000m.

After balancing up again, Cauthen ran on well to take second place, a length behind the all-the-way winner Clevadude.

One of the star two-year-olds of last spring after winning his first two starts, Clevadude was one of the favourites for the Magic Millions Classic on the Gold Coast in January.

But an outside barrier and a bout of heat stress cost him any chance and he finished near last.

”I never lost faith though,” trainer Rick Hore-Lacy said. ”He didn’t lose a leg or anything and he showed today he’s still the horse he was in the spring.”

Clevadude ($3.90) showed the benefit of Moonee Valley experience, jumping straight to the front and cruising through the first 800m.

Both the winner and the runner-up are likely to meet again in the group 3 Vain Stakes at Caulfield in two weeks.

Cauthen’s trainer Andrew Campbell was delighted with the colt’s run, if disappointed with the result. ”It was only greenness that cost him,” Campbell said. ”But he showed that his form in New Zealand stands up OK here.”

Bigger stages await the winners of the first two races at Moonee Valley with both Clevadude and Gregers being set for feature spring three-year-old races.

Despite an alarming betting drift from $3 to $3.90 and trainer Rick Hore-Lacy telling stewards he had missed work due to a boil on his wither, Clevadude still proved too good for boom Kiwi colt Cauthen.

Cauthen was backed from $2.50 to $1.95 in the betting ring but had his chances ruined when he was caught on the fence and then suffered interference with 600m which cost him the race.

His trainer Andrew Campbell said he wasn’t disappointed with the effort saying with the check and also dropping back in distance he was happy with the effort.

Hore-Lacy said he believes Clevadude, who led throughout, was a sprinter but is still keeping an eye on him starting in the Caulfield Guineas.

Both Clevadude and Cauthen will clash again in the Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 17.

Category: Racing

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