Quick… very quick, can best describe Race 4 at Eagle Farm on Saturday 23rd January 2010. Sent out odds on favourite, Azzaland just managed to cut down the great grey flash Monashee Dancer in the shadows of the post. Track caller Wayne Wilson was stunned initially stating “they’ve run 56 seconds flat”, then when viewing the digital time stated “ladies and gentleman the clock has stopped at 55.99, a new track record”.
On a fine day with drying wind and scorching heat, the fast time of Falvelina in the previous race, was identified by several of the owners as an opportunity for a fast click in the Open 1000m Handicap. Finally fit after several hiccups in his campaign Monashee Dancer was backed from an $11 opening price to $7.50 second favourite at the jump. In the ring his old attitude had returned, dragging his featherweight strapper around the ring, daring any others to come close enough for a double barrel, and swishing his tail in anticipation. His full brother, Sir Monashee(Monashee Mountain/Tres Rapide) exemplified the fitness and attitude of the stable, bouncing on his toes around the ring. Was big brother still king of the stable?
On jumping the Dancer easily led, with Azzaland taking a sit on his shoulder on settling. On approaching the turn, the grey flash was low level flying, Azzaland a length off, and most of the field hard ridden. On straightening, Joe Bowdich allowed a little reign and the grey kicked 3 lengths clear at the 300m mark. Under pressure, Azzaland dug deep at the urging of Stathi Katsidis, and at the 150m mark got to within a length.
Courageously Monashee Dancer kicked and went head to head with the Za-Im bred speedster before finally being overpowered in the last 40m. The grey flash had returned, beating the best of the rest by 4 lengths, Azzaland breaking the 1000m track record in the process.
Blake was Back! They say no one remembers 2nd, but for this group of owners, and the talented trainer Darren Bell and his wife Jane, this race will be remembered as one of the greatest performances of the grey flash Monashee Dancer – 56.18.