Getting your first of anything in life is always a highlight of one’s career, and so it was with former champion apprentice Tim Clark who landed his debut group I winner on 22 March at Royal Randwick in Sydney.
In a dramatic finish for different reasons, Typhoon Zed (Zeditave-Royal Diploma), beautifully ridden by young Clark, won the 5 1/2 furlongs group I Aus$350,000 Galaxy Handicap by a nose from the vastly improved Keen Commander (Commands-Bonne Bouche). The 4-year-old mare Fritz’s Princess (More Than Ready -Superb Lady) came storming home from a mile back to finish a long head away in third. Typhoon Zed has now won Aus$460,000 in purse money and the races was run in 1.04.12 — well outside the track record.
"Winning a group I is something I have always dreamed of...it’s an awesome feeling," Clark said. "I moved up to challenge for the lead, and he hit the front sooner than I expected and as a result the other horse started to come back on him. But he fought it out strongly and, well, I’m a group I winning jockey now. You beauty!"
But while Clark was in a mood to celebrate, the sprint was saddened by the bleeding attack suffered by international traveller and former group I winner Bentley Biscuit. Disappointingly, after being well back throughout, he failed to finish with jockey Nash Rawiller dismounting before the finishing post.
The lightly raced Typhoon Zed (12 starts now for 5 wins) had only had one run since last November, and his win caught punters by surprise. "I don’t know where we will go next," shrugged his trainer Tim Martin. "He’s broken-winded so I would like to find another nice five-and-a-half furlong race over the carnival."
Typhoon Zed has been group II placed twice, last October and in November.
Keen Commander, who hit the front twice in the straight, has now had 16 starts for his trainer Denise McGrath. He’s won five of them and been placed in nine of the others. He was ridden by Blake Shinn and would have been his trainer’s first group I winner.
Fritz’s Princess made her charge with race favorite Magnus, this race’s winner last year, and they ended up third and fourth, respectively. "Give her another 10 metres and she beats them both," jockey Jay Ford said of Fritz’s Princess’ storming finish. While Damien Oliver who piloted Magnus said: "There was nothing wrong with the run. He’s only a small horse and giving weight to the others was the difference," Magnus gave the winner six pounds.