Age is proving no barrier for New Time who defied top weight and a worthy rival to come away with a fighting win in the Budget Truck Rental Handicap (1300m) at Belmont.
Earning high praise from trainer Jim Taylor, apprentice Jake Casey won the early speed battle on New Time and controlled the race against a determined Liberty’s Gem.
“Tactically Jake got it right and it was a great ride,” said Taylor.
“He rated him well and tried to sneak on the corner.
“Another stride Simon’s horse gets there but lucky we held off.
“He (Jake) has improved so much and has a big future.”
New Time, a rising eight-year-old, gave owners Aristo Mihalopoulus and Terry Zeppos some joy after they were forced to retire Barakey after his unplaced run in the Northam Stakes last Sunday.
Taylor said New Time, who is rapidly closing in on half-a-million dollars in prize money, is an honest campaigner but just a notch under elite level.
“Handicapper David Hunter said he was a weight-for-age horse but I don’t think he is,” said Taylor.
“There is a welter in about a month and he will probably go there.
“He is a little under the top grade but is so honest.”
Darren McAuliffe might be thinking he has run over a black cat or walked under a ladder after his boom sprinter Rebel King ran another luckless race.
The Universal Ruler gelding was denied victory first-up after getting held up behind Sheidel and yesterday got trapped three wide turning for home.
Getting the better of the three-year-old by a short half-head was Dueton, given a saloon passage along the rails by jockey, Jason Whiting.
Trainer Eric Wake said Dueton, who ended a 481 day losing spell, deserved to breakthrough.
“It has been luckless for the old fella but he had been knocking on the door and deserved the win, Wake said.
“He has been racing against top company for a fair while now and in some of the races he has been out weighted.”
Simon Miller’s Liberty’s Gem was beaten a nose and Eurosun a head but he got one photo finish result with First Among Equals.
The Exceed and Excel gelding, ridden by Peter Knuckey, arrived from off the speed to overpower Malibu Style by a short-head.
Miller has found the key to First Among Equals who brought up a winning hat trick to remain undefeated this campaign.
I have full respect for Malibu Style and it was a good win,” said Miller.
“He is rocking along this horse and is a get back sprinter.
“I’m not sure where we go from here but there are a couple of stakes races going forward.
“He probably deserves to attack one of them.”