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By Taron Clarke | Monday, October 18, 2010

Caulfield, October 16, 2010.
Track - Heavy 9. Rail - Out 6 metres. Penetrometer 6.45.
Tristarc Stakes (Group 2) 4YO+ Mares SW+P - 1400m.
Time: 1-26.51. 600m Sectional: 38.87. (Carrying 56.5kg).
1 Culminate; 2 Jersey Lily; 3 Marquardt.
Margins: 0.5L x 0.8L.

Michael Walker scored the second leg of a winning double aboard the Sean Buckley owned mare Culminate, in the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes over 1400 metres.

Walker had scored earlier in the day for fellow kiwi Graeme Boyd aboard Ginga Dude in the Group 3 David Jones Cup.

Owner Sean Buckley has struck up a formidable combination with the former champion kiwi hoop and Walker repaid the owner’s faith with a ten out of ten ride aboard the daughter of Elnadim.

Trained by Ballarat mentor Darren Weir, the seven-year-old mare was second-up in her campaign after two reasonable runs in Brisbane over the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.

Already a Group 1 winner of the Otaki Maori Stakes over 1600 metres in February 2009, the win gave the mare her fourth Black Type victory.

Sent out at double figure odds, Culminate and Walker were well served at barrier rise from gate number seven.

Walker allowed the seven year old to balance up in sixth position on the fence, five lengths off the early leader who was the second favourite in the event, Live In Sin.

The field of mares raced along at a good tempo and down the side of the track it was fourteen lengths first to last as Live In Sin attempted to lead all the way.

Whilst the leading division of horses and riders were content to race two and three horses from the fence, Michael Walker elected to keep his mount on the rail and as the field commenced the turn for home the pair were able to save considerable ground and race through inside of runners to strike the front upon straightening.

The favourite for the feature mares race was the Mick Price trained Aloha for jockey Glen Boss. Racing three and four wide just off the speed clearly, the mare wasn’t comfortable and she quickly punctured at the top of the straight.

Michael Walker sent Culminate through rounding the home turn and the pair kicked clear by two lengths at the top of the straight.

Passing the 300 metre pole, Walker gave the mare a few cuts with the whip and she responded well holding the chasers, headed by Jersey Lily, at bay.

Although getting tired late in the affair, Culminate, by virtue of a clever ride from Michael Walker did enough to grab the cash.

Culminate rallied to the hard whip-riding of Walker over the concluding stages of the affair to score a confortable half-length victory over Sydneysider Jersey Lily, with three-quarters of a length back to Patinack Farm mare Marquardt in third position.

Trainer Darren Weir: “Owner Sean Buckley has sent quite a few horses our way, so it's the first result we've had for him. We haven't had a lot of runners, but I'm sure he will be very happy.

“She got a little wither boil, which was a bit unfortunate, but it really didn't matter too much.

“She really needed the run at Flemington a couple of weeks ago and she has tightened up well and worked well during the week.

“The Myer Classic has been the goal all prep, so it looks like we're on track anyway.

“She's a great horse…..a really good horse to train. Simple, just does her work and eats, very basic sort of horse.”

Jockey Michael Walker: “It's been a long time coming to ride a winner for Sean Buckley.

“Since I've come here and ridden for Sean, even though we had that one in Brisbane and she's had her injury, I've been a bit down in the dumps … but this is going to pick us up.

“I knew before me and Darren discussed our race plans, she wouldn't have the speed to lead.

“She tricked me a bit today, she was a lot more forward than at Flemington. She pulled quite hard, and it probably just took a little bit of sprint out of her.

“She was on the worst of the ground, I believe, and I just knew she's a Group 1 performer, I might as well keep her going.

“She didn't handle the track. So if she gets a slow track in the Myer, even a dead she'll be spot on.”

Winner (Culminate):9.00 out to 12.00.
Favourite (Aloha) 7.00 into 5.00. Finished thirteenth.

Horse to follow: Jersey Lily continued her consistent form with a closing second. Well adept in all type of footing the mare should be rewarded soon for her band of owners.

No Evidence Needed was checked on straightening when disappointed for a full run between Aloha and Venus World, both of which shifted ground slightly.

G Boss (Aloha) reported that in his opinion, his mount did not handle today’s track conditions. A veterinary examination of Aloha revealed no abnormalities.

M Rodd (Believe ‘n Achieve) reported that his mount did not improve until taken to the outside of other runners.

Damien Oliver (Europa Point) reported that his mount felt sore in both front legs on pulling up.

A veterinary examination of Europa Point confirmed this and a stable representative of trainer Mr L Freedman was notified that prior to Europa Point racing again, a veterinary certificate of fitness must be produced.

B Melham (I’m A Hussy) reported that in his opinion, he felt his mount had come to the end of her preparation.

L Nolen (Live In Sin) reported the mare was not herself in the mounting yard and he felt that she had come to the end of her preparation, which had included the trip to Sydney and back.

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Photos: Taron Clarke

Photos: Taron Clarke
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