Jan 6, 2022

Owners in the Vic Husslers team learnt another tough but valuable lesson on Wednesday at Sandown, that most things in racing never go exactly as planned. 

The Husslers had last start winner Bellinger stepping out as favourite in a tough but winnable race on the Sandown Hillside track over 1300m.

Trainer JD Hayes was extremely confident as he greeted the owners pre-race along with apprentice jockey Matthew Cartwright who claimed 2kgs. 

“I want to be one out two back maybe three back, let him truck up and show his turn of foot,” said Cartwright to an enthusiastic group of owners in the saddling yard. 

Once the barriers flew back, that plan seem to go out the window, Bellinger found himself second last at the 800m, while with 400m remaining he was still at the back with way too much work to do before finishing a cracking fourth. 

“Unfortunately, he (Cartwright) set him too big a task, he had to be Phar Lap to win where he was at the 400” said a disappointed JD Hayes post race. 

“Still I’m proud of the horse’s effort and that was a run of a horse that is still holding his form so I’m sure we can find a race in three weeks time or even sooner. We’ll let him tell us, a very good effort, just a bad ride” said Hayes. 

A study of the sectionals adds further credibility to Bellinger’s effort; only the impressive Our Modena ran slightly better sectionals. Click here to look at the sectionals.

Terry Kennedy