Brazen tactics by two jockeys has turned the opening race at Randwick into a serious test of stamina with the lightly raced Lord Disick coming up trumps.
Winning jockey Christian Reith momentarily wondered if he had misread the form guide when Tommy Berry aboard Springbok Flyer sped across from an outside draw to set a solid early speed.
And there was no relief from the pressure with Brenton Avdulla making a mid-race move on Mr Steal to try to pinch the race.
“I thought we were in an 1100-metre race for a while,” Reith said.
“There was pressure early and then I thought, things will die down and we can travel for a bit, and then they went again.”
The break-neck speed, which ensured Saturday’s All Too Hard Handicap was one of the fastest 2400m races run at Randwick, played into the hands of Lord Disick.
Settling midfield he outstayed former New Zealander Dee I Cee by three-quarters of a length with favourite Another Cocktail a further 3-3/4 lengths away.
Mr Steal held on bravely for fourth, although his performance didn’t stop stewards hauling Avdulla in over tactics.
“I was trying to bring everything else unstuck,” Avdulla told chief stipe Ray Murrihy.
Murrihy told the hoop he asked too much of his mount.
“It’s the fifth fastest 2400 ever run at Randwick and that includes the Metropolitan,” Murrihy replied.
“The first 1800 metres was 20 lengths faster than average.
“You made too much use of it. All in all he’s run a pretty good race.”