Perfect return for Perfect Stride

Perfect Stride (Stuart McCormick)

The Shane Sanderson trained pacer Perfect Stride made a long awaited return to the winner’s stall in the Allied Express Young Pedro Free For All at Melton on Saturday night.

Perfect Stride enjoyed a cosy run behind the leader Tango Tara who was kept busy in the lead by Hellavu as he took the field through a slick 55.8 first half of the last mile.

There was no letting up as Tango Tara threw a 27.7 back straight quarter at his rivals however Perfect Stride peeled off his back on straightening and was able to reel in the leader on the post

scoring by half a neck in a mile rate of 1.50.4.

It was the seven-year-old’s first win since saluting at Meneangle in February last year.

Sanderson admitted he had a slight concern at the brutal speed of the race.

“I was a little worried about the tempo of the race but he did it easy enough, I was just hoping that he had that sprint in him at the end,” he said.

Sanderson said the winner’s form was better than it appeared.

“We’ve been having bad draws but he’s still been going well, during the run I was pretty happy with the run he was getting and the way the race was panning out,” he said.

“I was just hoping that he would attack the line like he has been lately and he did.”

The adage ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again’ may well apply to the pacer Radius who broke through over the sprint trip in the TAB We’re On Pace.

With Jackie Barker in the sulky, Radius settled three back along the pegs and was able to track through along the sprint lane in the home straight to get up and score by a neck from Skinnydip in a

mile rate of 1.53.9.

It was the nine-year old’s 21st attempt at breaking through over the 1720 metre trip at headquarters, having been previously placed on five occasions without winning.

Barker believes the David Barbetti trained pacer is racing at his peak.

“He’s an absolute gentleman to drive and I think he’s been racing in career best form lately,” she said.

“He’s felt really sharp in all his races and it was nice to be able to drive him quiet tonight and get a nice suck along the pegs.”

Barker conceded Radius’s best form has been over longer distance events.

“He’s always been known as being a bit more of a stayer than a sprinter but I’ve been really impressed with him in his last few runs and I really think that he’s loving his racing at the moment

and Dave’s been doing a really good job with him,” she said.

John Dunne