There was an eye-catching win at the Sunshine Coast on Sunday.
In wasn’t quite an Isotope performance but the John Symons and Sheila Laxon trained Set Me Up, who was on debut at $7 with Sportsbet, showed she is certainly one for the note-book with a professional performance which belied her lack of experience.
Set Me Up jumped towards the back of the field and was ridden up into a position just worse midfield in the sweep to the turn by Ronnie Stewart … but was still some seven lengths behind the duelling leaders, the $1.70 favourite Taormina Match and Clear Motive ($11).
Make that six lengths back on straightening in the home straight and then five with 200m left to run, but Set Me Up was now starting to warm to her task. Her acceleration, which built with each passing stride, suddenly carried her right into contention.
Most impressive though was her effort over the final 75m where, once she got within sight of victory, she changed gears again, and put her rivals away in quite stunning fashion.
“That was really impressive … especially as we haven’t had the grass track open to gallop all week because of the wet weather, so we’ve just been ticking her over with conditioning work,” explained co-trainer Sheila Laxon.
“Really, the 1000m is too short but she has shown a lot of ability in her jump-outs and trials. She has always shown that turn of foot that she showed in the race. She is a happy horse.
“Esprit Racing put the ownership group together … and it is an all-female group, so they qualify for the Magic Millions female owners’ bonus scheme. At the moment it looks pretty good, but we’ve still got a good way to go.
“I’ve got a lot of faith in her.”
Set Me Up is by Star Witness out of Inaflury and therein lies a story in itself.
“The reason she is called Set Me Up is because Inaflury set Ethereal up to win the Caulfield Cup. She went beserk a long way out and set the cracking pace that we needed and that allowed Ethereal (Laxon’s Caulfield Cup, Melbourne Cup winner) to come home so strongly.”
That Caulfield Cup win was nineteen years ago … a famous first leg of a two-part Cup triumph for Laxon, confined to history but far from forgotten, even down to the Inaflury detail.