Squid Game puts on a show at Flemington

18 December 2021 Written by VRC

Squid Game won his second race from as many starts, cruising to victory down the Flemington straight on Saturday.

The Patrick Payne-trained three-year-old rode the pace when winning on debut at Sandown Lakeside before winning by 1.25 lengths on November 24.

Squid Game ($2.10 favourite) had a different experience for his second racetrack appearance in the $130,000 Lexus Holiday Plate (1200m) for three-year-olds under benchmark 70 handicap conditions.

Michael Dee, who rode him on debut, settled Squid Game at the rear of a seven-horse field, a slow tempo established by the leaders, but still had enough in reserve to blast past his rivals to score by three-quarters of a length.

Outsider of the field Umgawa was runner-up with Murrami Express fighting on from his on-pace position for third, a further three-quarters of a length away.

“It was probably exactly how it looked and the same as how it felt, too," winning rider Michael Dee said.

“He was a bit slow away which was a concern. I preferred to ride with a bit of cover today. If we’d landed in front it wouldn’t have been an issue.

“He’s had a bit better experience today down the straight. He hit the front quite early and he began to look around. There was plenty to look at and he still had more in store.”

Squid Game is by Shooting To Win out of Keeper mare Macavity, a half-sister to G1 Goodwood (1200m) winner Velocitea. He was purchased by Patrick Payne for NZ$150,000 from last year's first book of the New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale.