It was as if the Canny Lad colt mugged the favored trio in deep stretch with his accomplice jockey Zac Purton.
Mid-stretch, all was going to script as perennial front-runner Desert War (6-4 favorite) dueled with Mentality (11-4) and Eremein (7-4). Desert War is a winner of just over $2 million (Australian funds) and Eremein twice that as the best southern son of Timber Country. Mentality has won $700K but is rated one of the best 3-year-olds in the land.
He’s No Pie Eater barely had the entry fee with pre-race earnings of $154,000. His three wins and four placings from 13 previous starts, however, included a third to Teranaba in the Spring Champion Stakes (Aus-I) for his age group at Randwick on Oct 7. His biggest payday added $180,000.
He had those in the stands reaching for their race cards to identify him, as he moved from sixth at the last bend to challenge the main group in the final 200 meters.
Concern turned to dismay as the Graeme Rogerson-trained 3-year-old put his nose in front near the wire to win by a short neck from the Gai Waterhouse trained warhorse, Desert War. Mentality was a nose off in third, Eremein another 1 1/4 lengths astern.
In extreme heat, the 1,600 meters of the weight-for-age event was over in a slow 1:37.68.
He’s No Pie Eater is the fourth foal of Canadian mare Ladies’ Day, by Ascot Knight, from a daughter of Sir Ivor. Bred by Mrs J. S. Mackay, the colt sold for $140,000 at the 2005 Magic Millions, the buyer, syndicator Dean Watt.
Gloss was taken from the 81st running of the traditional Sydney mile in that it clashed with Melbourne’s Futurity (Aus-I), also 1,600 meters at weight-for-age on the same day. This programming debacle is a byproduct of the Australian Jockey Club’s (AJC) rigidly starting its 4-day fall carnival, [Australian] Derby day, on Easter Saturday. All fall Sydney programming flows around that movable feast.
The next chapter in the ongoing fiasco comes quickly on March 10 when the Victoria RC stages the $750,000 Australian Guineas (Aus-I) in Melbourne. On the very same day, the AJC will run the $400,000 Randwick Guineas, also grade I for 3-year-olds at a mile.