Lunar Rocket all the way
LUNAR ROCKET had to fight for every cent of the $409,500 winner's purse of yesterday's fifth race, rallying strongly on the inside to regain the lead from SIMPLY THE BEST a half-furlong out.
Sent off as the 3-5 favourite at five-and-a-half furlongs after being caught at the wire going seven on Saturday, LUNAR ROCKET set off in front under Shane Ellis. However, she was taken on by SIMPLY THE BEST, who was slowly into stride but recovered to press the leader from three furlongs out.
Running strongly on the outside, SIMPLY THE BEST, partnered by Paul Francis, challenged LUNAR ROCKET coming off the home turn and stuck her head in front with a furlong-and-a-half to run in the $550,000 optional claiming event.
However, super-fit LUNAR ROCKET, a nine-length winner on July 22, had reserves in her tank and responded with gusto when Ellis roused her inside the final furlong.
The chestnut filly showed how much she has improved since taking orders from Joseph Thomas by finding extra to hit the front with a half-furlong to run, beating 5-2 chance SIMPLY THE BEST by three-quarter length in a fast 1:06.1.
Wesley Henry rode two winners on the 10-race card, YOGA and A. P. I, in the sixth and ninth races, respectively.
Trainer Steven Todd visited the winners' enclosure twice to greet 10-1 outsider TRUE WHISPER in the third and even-money favourite ROYAL GIRL in the eighth.
Racing continues at Caymanas Park on Saturday.