Matthew Smith and the stable really rated AMERICAN SALUTE (All American-Reverenza) at Newcastle this afternoon.
The whispers spread and he was backed as if unbeatable firming in from an opening quote of $5.50 to start $2.10 by the time they jumped.
And in the run he looked the goods, even dashing away as they straightened.
But his $8.60 stablemate, LATINA BEAUTY (Deep Field-Guapa), ridden superbly by Tyler Schiller, an apprentice on the rise, wore him down to win narrowly.
A sheepish Luke Hilton, standing in for Smith did the post-race interview.
“The ride by Tyler was outstanding,” he said. “I spoke to Matt during the week just hoping we could split them up because they both are flying.
“She has really come on since her last start Wyong win. And that was a really good job to get past the stablemate, but, he’ll win next start.”
Naturally, a great tip going forward but the volume of people who wagered on him today, are left with torn up tickets and what could have beens going on in their minds.
The plunge was large and just kept coming.
The win was the 4YO mare’s 4th from 15 starts with three minor placings and a bank account now of $75,225. She did cost $160,000 as a yearling so there is still a ways to go but she has talent.
As for the 6YO American Salute, well just save your cash for his next start.
Both Matt Smith and his wife Mel, part-own him so they would be having a bitter sweet day, you’d imagine.