Boom four-year-old and touted Everest contender Masked Crusader was beaten at Randwick on Saturday in a BM 88 over 1100m.
But, he lost no admirers.
The very heavy track probably took it’s toll as he went quite wide around the home turn looking for better going so as to chase down the winner VARDA (Lonhro-Wild Queen) who made it four straight when she pinged away as soon as they turned for home and held tough to just win.
“It is such a pleasant feeling to be able to push the button at the top of the straight when you’re on a really fit horse and she is really fit.
“Very gutsy win because I could feel big Masked coming, ” said her rider James McDonald.
Indeed he was. He blew from $16 to $25 in The Everest betting after having his colours lowered here, but he was beaten by an improving mare who is headed to stakes company now.
Varda has won 5 of her 10 starts and over $306,000 in prizemoney.
The win came about because McDonald went for home first.
He was tracking the pace and Masked Crusader (Toronado-She’s Got Gears) was tracking him. Both jocks went to just past the middle of the track looking for superior ground, but while Tommy Berry on the $1.90 fav (Sportsbet) cuddled him over the rise, Jay Mac took off on the mare the moment she straightened up.
She got 3 lengths on him and though he kept chipping away at the margin, he failed by a long neck to reel her in.
They were 5 lengths clear of Royal Tudor back in 3rd.
Masked Crusader ran a stunning last 600m in the mud.