Sunday Herald Sun www.news.com.au
DAVID Hayes shrugged off a mini drought with a last minute feature winner, Dwayne Dunn pushed his nose in front in the premiership and the “legend’’ of money muncher Lord Of The Sky grew in the Monash Stakes at Caulfield.
For Hayes, who is overseas, Miss Promiscuity’s barnstorming upset win was a case of too little too late.
Hayes had been in the thick of things for half the season as a premiership contender but now sits 14 wins in arrears of last year’s premier trainer Darren Weir and seven off Peter Moody (65).
A lean autumn put Hayes on the back foot, which was a “bit frustrating’’ according to stable rep Rayan Moore, but Saturday’s win was just reward for Miss Promiscuity’s owner, long-time stable client Robert Crabtree, Moore said.
While Hayes would seem to have run out of time to win a ninth Melbourne premiership, Dunn now has a one win buffer over Craig Williams (51 to 50), with just the rest of July remaining, in his bid to win his first.
Damien Oliver, who crawled out of his sick bed to compete on Saturday, had one winner — he’d have expected another, but “expecting’’ and “Lord Of The Sky” should never be muttered in the same breath — and sits on 49.
The race did not pan out as expected, forcing Dunn to adopt a Plan B.
Most expected $2.35 favourite Lord Of The Sky to lead but the great punter nemesis found a new trick on Saturday — he missed the start.
Trainer Robbie Laing shrugged his shoulders post-race, after Lord Of The Sky ended up settling midfield, then struggled into seventh. The one-time boom horse is now winless in his last 11 starts.
“Ollie said he scrambled out, the winner struck him, then Riziz came out onto him — they both flattened him — and it then just became foreign to him,’’ Laing said.
Instead of trailing Lord Of The Sky, as he had planned, Dunn sat just off Wild Rain, Angels Beach and Minaj before cutting loose down the middle of the track, winning by 2 ¾ lengths.
“We were a bit surprised. Everyone anticipated Lord Of The Sky to go forward and we were going to sit just off him but when he missed the start we were sort of just left there,’’ Dunn said. I expected him (Lord Of The Sky) to come charging but he never did.
“She (Miss Promiscuity) found the right part of the track and really gave me a super kick.’’
Moore said the replacement of winkers with blinkers — and a now expected gun ride from Dunn — were the key factors for Miss Promiscuity.
“It was a fantastic ride by Dwayne. He didn’t panic. Everyone else would have panicked a little (when the favourite missed the start) but Dwayne didn’t,’’ he said, adding Miss Promiscuity was “a pretty special little mare.’’