Classy Aviator upsets at 9-1 in feature
CLASSY AVIATOR, running at odds of 9-1 with Aaron Chatrie aboard, scored a mild upset in yesterday's Titania Trophy feature over 1,100 metres for three-year-old fillies, flooring the odds on 4-5 favourite BIRD CATCHER, who was second.
Trained by Gary Subratie for owners Test Pilots, the chestnut filly by Seeking The Glory out of Classy Chanel was held just off the early fractions as POISON GAS and LIKE A LADY carried the pace into the straight ahead of BLUE MOON and BIRD CATCHER.
With no fewer than four in with a chance leaving the furlong pole, CLASSY AVIATOR got into top gear midway the last furlong to beat BIRD CATCHER by 11/4 length.
There was a lengthy stewards' enquiry into the running of the race resulting in third past the post, BLUE MOON, with apprentice Jerome Innis riding for champion trainer Wayne DaCosta, being disqualified, and placed fifth, this for causing interference to LIKE A LADY in the straight. BABY P, who was fourth past the post was promoted to third.
CLASSY AVIATOR, who had previously won by a wide margin over 1,200 metres in maiden company on March 12 with Chatrie aboard, has shown a preference for sprints over middle distances and could make her mark in non-winners of three when next at the races.
Inform jockey Robert Halledeen and trainer Dwight Chen highlighted the 10-race programme with two winners each.
Like he did on the previous Saturday, Halledeen took the first double comprising Peter McMaster's progressive American 3-y-o filly CHOO CHOO BLUE, who again romped the day's opening race over 1,200 metres in the smart time of 1:12.1 going wire to wire and 8-1 chance BLUE PEPSI LINKS for trainer Ryan Darby in the 3-y-o maiden special over 1,200 metres. CHOO CHOO BLUE is owned by Elaine McMaster (Miss Suckie), wife of the winning trainer.
Chen posted seventh-race winner SONG BIRD at 2-1 with former champion Wesley Henry in the saddle as well as CHIEF PROSPECT at 4-1 in the eighth with Jevanne Erwin aboard.
Only two favourites obliged on what was a difficult day for form players, the notable upset coming via the fleet-footed AUNT HILDA at 14-1 with Renaldo McNaughton riding for trainer Patrick Fong in the ninth race over the round-five course.