In a drama-packed Group 3 Catanach’s Blue Sapphire Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on Wednesday, Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr used their successful blueprint from last year to win with undefeated Grand Impact.
The win was overshadowed though by an incident in the barriers when odds-on favourite Economics took fright and flipped around, with his jockey Chad Schofield trying to hang on.
Racing Victoria veterinary surgeons deemed him unfit to start and he was scratched, while on-course doctor Ashlea Murphy examined Schofield and found he had a suspected broken rib.
The victory by Grand Impact gave Price and Kent Jnr a winning double, as they had earlier won the G3 Coongy Cup with Gunstock.
It also gave the training partners back-to-back victories in the race, while Price has now been successful four times overall in the event.
Last year, Extreme Warrior prevailed after he had won an Echuca maiden and Grand Impact’s triumphs had come in a Geelong maiden in July and a Benchmark 64 at Sandown Lakeside in early August.
“The blueprint with all these nice colts if you’re going to win a nice race with them, it’s no use just going and going and going from when they have their first start, you need to time the run,” Price explained.
Price said Grand Impact will have his next start in the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington on Derby Day and given he was strong to the line over 1100 metres, the 1200 of the Coolmore shouldn’t be a problem for him.
Price also pointed out that Grand Impact’s stablemate Bews, who finished sixth, had beaten him when they worked together last Saturday but that Bews had been all over the place and didn’t handle the wet ground in Wednesday’s race.
After Grand Impact ($4.80) defeated Shalailed ($26) by a length-and-three-quarters, with Lofty Strike ($7.50) a further length away in third, jockey Ben Melham said the most impressive part of his winning streak is that he is still a fair way off the finished product.
Schofield later said it was one of those things which happen in racing and that he had not had any indication that Economics was going to play up.
“Nothing really triggered him off, he just had a moment where he lunged quite badly and got his legs caught up and he panicked and then he flipped over and I was sort of stuck on,” Schofield said.
Schofield said a barrier attendant then helped to get him off the horse.
“I’ll be finding out who he is and thanking him,” he added.