Whose Else's finally scores again
Trainer Gray reckons the rain plays a part in his charge's victory
WHOSE ELSE'S relished the sting out of the ground that prevailed on Sunday to finally return to winning ways to the great delight of his fans.
The Casino Prince five-year-old has been a source of frustration for connections and punters alike, with his statistics of only one win and eight placings from 13 starts telling a stark tale.
Trainer Stephen Gray himself acknowledged Whose Else's had been a "punter's graveyard", given the fact he is more often than not well in the market.
He was again one of the popular picks in Sunday's $60,000 Class 4 Division 2 race over 1,200m, starting as the $20 second-favourite behind impressive last-start winner Julius Caesar (Vlad Duric). But, this time, he did not let his supporters down.
One of the best away, Whose Else's eventually settled in fourth spot outside his main threat Julius Caesar behind the steady pace set by the well-backed Lucky Giant (A'Isisuhairi Kasim) from $418 longshot Elite Takes All (S John).
The order did not change until they swung for home when the script most expected to pan out was to see Julius Caesar pounce between the two horses in front of him, Lucky Giant and Elite Takes All as a wide passage opened up between them.
Duric got busy on the I Am Invincible colt, but it was soon clear not all the lights were lit up in the house. Lucky Giant kept kicking, but it was Elite Takes All who soon took over, to put himself on the cusp of a big upset as he sure looked like he could hold on to his slender advantage.
But the big roughie had not reckoned with Whose Else's, whose turn of foot was just a shade better on that day as he grabbed the top prize by three parts of a length.
Elite Takes All held on gamely for second, half-a-length ahead of Zippy General. Julius Caesar was not far away as he seemed to rally again on the fence to finish fifth, just over a length behind the winner.
The winning time was 1min 11.05sec for the 1,200m on the long course.
"He's been a bit of a punter's graveyard this horse, but at the end of the day, he's very honest and we found a good race for him handicap-wise," said Gray.
"I think a bit of rain helped him as he's been getting hard tracks of late. He is a consistent horse who keeps turning up, and has also been a good moneyspinner to his owners."
The Triple M Stable will certainly appreciate the virtue of patience with the stakes earner of around $150,000, as it has taken 11 starts for Whose Else's to bounce back to the winner's stall since his maiden win more than one year ago (May 11, 2016).
Boss, who was at the third pin of a riding treble (he won earlier on LIM'S CASINO and YAYA PAPAYA), said he knew he was onto something good on the way to the barriers.
"I was cantering him at three-quarter pace to the barriers and I could feel he was really raring to go," said the three-time Melbourne Cup-winning jockey.
"This horse has feet problems and you can normally feel him getting his toe in the ground on hard tracks, but today was different.
"I think Steve has also kept this horse fresh and that was a key factor, too. He just went through the line so well."