Triple Eight causes an upset

Triple Eight (Stuart McCormick)

John Dunne

Veteran sit and sprint specialist Triple Eight staked a claim for warming his ageing bones in the Queensland sunshine when he outsprinted his rivals in the Lazarus Free For All at Melton on Saturday night.

Greg Sugars made full use of a rare front row draw and managed to slot the nine-year-old into the one out one back trail chasing the leader Curly James.

Curly James and Hellavu appeared set to fight out the finish half way down the home straight when Triple Eight unleashed his trademark powerful finale and scored running away by two metres from Hellavu in a mile rate of 1.53.

Sugars said he decided to roll the dice and ask Triple Eight for an early effort to secure a forward position.

“It’s been a very long time since he’s had a semi decent front row draw so we had to chance our arm at the start and make the most of that, “ he said.

“He hadn’t done that for a long time so there was a little question mark as I could see we were going to get a good run in transit doing that, but whether he could still finish off just as good after doing that little bit of work early but thankfully he did,” he said.

Sugars admitted the son of American Ideal appeared to be headed for the retirement paddock late last year.

“He’s a nine-year-old and 130 odd starts now and I have to say he’s going as good as we’ve had him over the past two or three months which is surprising as about six months ago we thought he was really struggling and getting close to retirement,” he said.

“He’s really resurrected himself.”

Two years ago Triple Eight took out the Group 3 Mr Feelgood Open Pace before finishing fifth behind Majestic Cruiser in the Group 1 Blacks A Fake during the Queensland Constellations.

The win was Triple Eight’s 25th race track success and took his stake earnings to more than $815,000.

Jason Lee is hoping Aldebaran Vera’s soft win in the Carlotta’s Pride Trotters Free For All will extend her career on the race track.

Lee wasted little time in wresting the lead off Shesawish with a lap to travel and proceeded to reel off a 28 second back straight quarter before finishing off with a 28.8 last 400 metres.

Aldebaran Vera ($4) coasted to the line holding a four metre advantage over Rockinwithattitude with Revelstoke three metres away third.

“We missed out on the bit of a speed burn early which was good and then we just popped around after they had done a bit of work and had a look and Greg (Sugars) came looking, but fair enough we were racing,” Lee said

“We got out on our own and she got a bit lost, got a bit lonely but she was good and got the job done.”

Lee believes Aldebaran Vera is a better racehorse with a sit.

“She’s always been better from behind, even as a young horse she should have had a couple of Group 1s beside her name but she didn’t like being in front or left alone in front- she’s certainly got a motor,” he said.

The impeccably bred daughter of Kyvalley Aldebaran is owned by the leading Swedish nursery Boko Stables and is leased by the Levarg Racing Group.

“Hopefully we can talk the connections into not wanting to breed from her at the end of the season but we’ll just race her through till then,” he said.