He started nearly 50/1 last start and won at group I level in Sydney impressively beating a strong field. So why was Sarrera friendless again May 17 in Brisbane when lining up for another group I, this time the 10 furlongs Doomben Cup?
And it was, on paper, weaker than the Queen Elizabeth Stakes he bettered at Randwick.
“I guess people just see him as a wet tracker and as this was a good track they dropped off him,” said his trainer Michael Moroney. “But we all know that a group I winner is a group I horse and he has proven that again this time.”
Indeed he did – emphatically.
Damien Oliver who broke his long run of group I outs on Sarrera (Quest For Fame-Zamsong by Zabeel) in that Sydney race, rode him masterfully again at Doomben – actually it was nearly a carbon copy of his Randwick ride.
This time 7-year-old gelding Sarrera was a 7/1 chance and Oliver sat him behind the speed until straightening, then hugged the rails saving valuable ground when nearly everyone else went wide, accelerated through a yawning gap and wore down the leader, Rampant Lion, with grit and determination.
Rampant Lion a fellow 7-year-old gelding (Lion Hunter-La Gyspy by Celestial Dancer) was left in front at the three furlong pole when fellow front runner Like It Is dropped the bit. Jockey Shane Scriven, seizing the opportunity, shot the 30/1 outsider to a huge lead upon straightening and his effort to battle on well to hold second was first-class.
Like It Is (Distorted Humor -Out In Style by Brave Regent), who ran the strangest of thirds, turned in a perplexing run for Darren Weir. After being in the firing line under jockey Sebastian Murphy until the three furlong mark, she stopped very quickly and looked to be going to drop right out of the race and run last. However, Like It Is rallied over the last furlong to increase her value immensely by fighting on in the straight to register her first group I placing.
The 4/1 equal favorites Eskimo Queen and Viewed both turned in ordinary efforts, Viewed settled behind midfield but never came into contention at any stage.
Eskimo Queen raced like she needs the paddock after having the box seat in transit but dropping away in the straight in a most disappointing effort for Moroney and Mark Zahra. “I think she has had enough this time out and she will be spelled now,” claimed her trainer.
Group II winner Scenic Shot ran like a horse that needs more ground, producing a very dour effort over the concluding stages to plug away into fifth place.
Spinney was wide early and never really settled into rhythm winding up midfield.
Sarrera, who has now won 8 of his 33 starts and $1,027,300 in purses, will be aimed at the 12-furlongs Brisbane Cup, a group II race.