Boilovers don’t come much bigger than this!
Lunar Fox silenced pundits and punters alike when the colt claimed the Group 1 Kennedy Australian Guineas at a starting price of $300.
Lunar Fox was second-up here and had done little to catch the eye when resuming finishing 13.20 lengths behind Tagaloa in the C S Hayes. His previous second-up form was better than that but clearly that was still was not enough to convince punters that he could show the level of improvement required to beat the better credentialled runners in the field in the Australian Guineas and so he was roundly neglected in the betting.
Even when a large number of runners were spread across the track at the 400m with Tagaloa (looking good on the inside), Lunar Fox (prominent down the centre of the track) and Cheery Tortoni (getting ready to launch on the outside), few focussed their attention on the long-shot, but Lunar Fox quickly forced himself into the spotlight with concentrated acceleration and, suddenly, it became clear that the 300-1 chance was going to upstage his rivals.
“It’s a bit surreal really at this stage,” said Holly McKechnie, spokesperson for the Paul Preusker stable. “I can’t believe it.
“He has always had a lot of ability this horse, but obviously last start he just went blow par and we couldn’t really find any issues … so, we have done the old trick with the blinkers and it seems to have done the job.
‘Like l said, last time was out of character. He’ll always try this horse, but I think getting to the outside and the addition of blinkers certainly helped him.”
Jockey Michael Dee also couldn’t quite believe it.
‘It hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Dee. “To be honest, I didn’t give him much hope. Nobody else really did either … but all I could do today was do my job and do it to the best of my ability and hope that the horse runs well.
“With the blinkers on today … there was just a massive improvement.
“I couldn’t really tell in the warmup if the blinkers would switch him on because he is quite a casual sort of horse. When we jumped from the barriers though, I could tell he was ready to go with those blinkers on because he jumped and put himself there.
“They drilled it into me before the race just to stay off the fence. From the gate we were able to get the perfect run three wide and we were able to work into it.
“It is obviously a massive thrill and I can’t believe it’s just happened.”