A brief look at Saturday's Flemington undercard

2 March 2024 Written by Racing & Sports

Another win for Another Wil 

Another Wil has continued his progression with another soft win in the Good Friday Appeal Plate (1600m). 

The Ciaron Maher-trained gelding is unbeaten in three starts this campaign and has now won four races from his six starts. 

Winning rider Jamie Kah described him as a ‘freak’ after the pair registered a 4-½ length win. 

“I can’t say much bar, this horse is a freak,” Kah said. 

“He pulled up and you feel like you could run him in the next race if you could, he’s just got so much energy, pulling up and turning around he’s bolting back to the mounting yard. 

“Nothing affects him, nothing knocks him around, he’s got a bright future this horse.” 

Estriella rewards owner’s faith 

Owner Kevin Payne has a knack of finding a good horse with Estriella displaying the signs of being above average with her win in the Inglis Sprint (1200m). 

Payne purchased former Australian Guineas and Victoria Derby winner Hitotsu as a yearling before selling a major share in the colt to some of trainer Ciaron Maher’s clients after the then two-year-old had started his career with Wendy Kelly. 

The owner was instrumental in pushing Estriella towards the Inglis Sprint and its $1 million in prize money, with Maher saying Payne is a great supporter of the stable. 

“He just loves racing, puts a lot into it, time, energy and thought,” Maher said. 

“I’d say there’s a lot of sleepless nights. He was very keen to come to this race and I couldn’t see any reason not to. 

“The team have done a fantastic job with this filly, her action wasn’t quite there last prep, they had to manage her. 

“She went to our beach facility up in Sydney, she raced well, she probably went off a fraction towards the end, but I said to Kevin, put her away, she’ll be very good and thankfully he’s getting rewarded now.”

Rail advantage for Diamond Dictator 

Co-trainer Pat Carey has been involved in many a close finish over his career as a trainer and was happy to see Diamond Dictator’s number go up in the frame in the Off The Track Sprint (1100m). 

Diamond Dictator ran the 1100m almost on her own down the inside fence with the majority of her eight rivals came down the centre of the track, before holding on for a short-half-head victory. 

It was a tricky photo finish as Illative and She’s Bulletproof closed late. 

“My heart’s alright, luckily I’ve been here before,” Carey said. 

Being a natural on-pace runner, Carey said the plan had been to race away from rivals. 

“I didn’t want to be the one supporting the rest of the field with cover,” Carey said. 

“She was quite good solo at Caulfield, so I knew that wasn’t going to be a risk, and first time down the straight, well, she had a rail to follow.” 

Two on the trot for Big Watch 

In contrast to his victory of a fortnight earlier when saved for a late run, Big Watch was ridden handier to the speed in the VRC Punters Club Sprint (1200m). 

Trainer Mike Moroney said Saturday’s race did not go to plan as Big Watch raced without cover and was challenging for the lead earlier than anticipated under Jamie Mott. 

“He needs cover, and he just never got it throughout the whole race,” Moroney said. 

“He got over racing and arrived there a little bit soon, but I’ve just got a funny feeling Jamie waited for the real surge very late because he knows the horse. 

“I think if anyone else was on, he definitely wouldn’t have won. He knows the horse very well.”