There were a couple of notable winners at Grafton on Tuesday where the four-year-old mare Justitia kicked off the meeting by claiming her third successive win.
Those victories by the Kris Lees trained daughter of Husson have come at three different tracks over three different distances, underlining both the progressive way in which her form-line is unfolding as well as her versatility.
Justitia’s Maiden win came over 1506m at Port Macquarie. The follow-up win was at Scone over 2100m in Class 1 company and this Grafton win, which rounded out the hat trick, was achieved over 2220m in a BM58.
Adding to the list of positives was Justitia’s willing and immediate response to Andrew Mallyon’s instruction from the saddle to change direction when Justitia was about to run into a traffic jam soon after turning into the home straight.
Mallyon asked Justitia to switch back fairly sharply to the inside … and to keep switching until she was in clear air … and then to extend with what turned out to be race winning acceleration.
“I was really pleased with the way she settled because she is a little uptight at home and she is a bit scary,” said Mallyon, who only took one ride at the meeting. “We are just trying to teach her to settle in her races and she was happy to relax here.
“It was getting a bit tight at one stage and I didn’t want to be in amongst that … with a little filly with a big weight … so, I decided just to bite the bullet and give her a clear run on the inside and things just opened up and she gave that nice turn of foot in the end.”
The Shane Everson trained September Girl was another horse to put back-to-back wins together after winning at Ballina in her previous start.
“She won well the other day … quite easily actually and she pulled up a treat after the race. Her work has been really good since, so I was very happy with her going into this race,” said Everson.
Justitia ($2.10), September Girl (#2.80) and Bugalugs ($2.30), who won an Open Handicap, were the three favourites to win over the seven-race card.
There were no real upsets until the final race where the $12 chance Swanston saluted for the Greg Kilner-Leah Kilner, trainer-jockey combination. Swanston was followed home into second and third place by horses quoted at $18 and $13 respectively.
Overall, it was a day a fairly keen racing with only one race being decided by a margin of more than one length.