Wink And A Nod Cleans Up In Belmont Sprint

28
May

Tradesman the entree, Wink And A Nod the main meal and Proceedwithcaution the deserts on a day of winter racing at Belmont Park.

After the favourite, Stored Energy , got rolled in the first, dependable Belmont Park specialist, Tradesman restored order immediately for punters.

The Trade Fair gelding loves racing at Belmont and landed his fifth win from six starts at winter headquarters with ease.

He was given a copy-book ride from, Troy Turner, who had the four-year-old settled and travelling comfortably in second position until he soared past pacesetter, I Done It, with 200m remaining.

Dark Musket and Tonto, who filled second and third position respectively after making up ground from the rear, tried hard with their chases, but Tradesman ran through the line strongly and scored an emphatic two length victory.

Co trainer Rob Harvey, who prepares Tradesman with his son, Todd, said the gelding was a chance to tackle the Strickland Stakes (2000m) in June.

The Group 3 Belmont Sprint was headed by Wink And A Nod ($2.90) and Roma Cup hero, Battle Hero ($3.50), the pair reflected their market positions with a one-two finish.

Wink And A Nod, freshened after a 42 day spell, got the better of Battle Hero over the final stages, scoring by just under a length with Mr Utopia running on hard for third.

Wink And A Nod gave the Warwick family another feature success, trainer Justin and his jockey daughter Lucy combining with the mare for her sixth stakes victory.

Luckygray raced flat to finish fifth, 4 3/4 lengths from the winner. His first up run in last fortnight’s Roma Cup may have taken the edge of him.

Hazzabeel spoilt his impeccable second up record when he managed to cross the line in 12th position, finishing ahead of just Gris Caro and Countryman.

Trainer Geoff Van De Molen said his only minor concern with Proceedwithcaution was fitness and not the impost of 61kg.

The Trade Fair gelding was coming off an eye-catching seventh in the Roma Cup, his first run back after a 12-month injury layoff.

Van De Molen needed have worried. Proceedwithcaution soared to the front on straightening and was never headed.
The back markers were coming after him strongly, but he dug deep and found something to stave off Military Ruler and Our Finest Moment.

Tough, courageous and without hyperbole, somewhat heroic with the weight he was forced to carry.

Julio Santarelli