EW Barker Trophy beckons, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

EW Barker Trophy beckons

6.5kg difference and luck take Grand Koonta past the classy Bold Thruster

It was labelled as a race between Bold Thruster and Grand Koonta.

The former had the class factor but the later had the weight advantage.

In the end, weight - coupled with a dose of luck - enabled Grand Koonta to take the $85,000 Class 2 event over 1,200m at Kranji on Friday night.

Bold Thruster, a triple Group 3 winner and a short head runner-up last start in the Group 2 Merlion Trophy, was handicapped at 60kg but his connections nominated apprentice S Shafrizal to utilise his 2kg claim.

But even with 58kg, the Michael Clements-trained Bold Thruster still conceded a huge 6.5kg to the James Peters-trained Grand Koonta. And, like they say, weight can stop a train.

"Bold Thruster, a massive run in second, he should have won," blared racecaller Luke Marlow.

Lady Luck clearly played a part in the race. Bold Thruster bombed the start after jumping from a wide barrier and was trapped very wide when making up precious ground.

He was gallant in defeat, going down by only a neck to Grand Koonta, who had an economical run from Gate 4.

Jockey Alysha Collett placed Grand Koonta in a handy midfield position, while Shafrizal was forced to take a longer route to get up to track the leader Nowyousee.

Bold Thruster looked set to justify his favourite's tag but the big difference in weight finally got Grand Koonta home first in a good time of 1min 09.29sec for his fourth success from six starts.

"It was such a strong field when I saw the handicaps on Monday. Bold Thruster was the main concern," said Peters.

"But it's worked out perfectly. Alysha rode him a treat, she gave him a great run around.

"Bold Thruster was unlucky when he was trapped deep, but my horse showed a great turn of foot. Alysha did well to hold him up for another 50m . When he let down, he let down really well."

Peters said he would now look at the $400,000 Group 2 EW Barker Trophy over 1,400m for Grand Koonta.