It took a red-hot Craig Williams to end Harbour Views’ unbeaten run in Thursday’s $500,000 Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Final (1600m) at Flemington.
Harbour Views carried 61.5kg but a combination of the weight and traffic issues were enough to bring about the $2.40 favourite’s first defeat in six starts.
“He was caught for a little bit of room and the winner had more momentum than him when he did get out,” Harbour Views’ jockey John Allen said.
“With the big weight, he found it hard to pick up but he still ran well.”
Williams had no such problems on the Greg Eurell-trained Star Missile ($6) despite jumping from the outside barrier in the 16-horse field.
Williams took Star Missile back to the tail of the field to find cover before bringing the four-year-old down the middle of the track to score a strong win.
Star Missile was a $40,000 yearling but took his earnings to more than $420,000 with his win, which was Williams’ third of the Oaks Day meeting, and brought a cheer from the gelding’s huge band of owners.
“I think there is over a hundred here today. Big thrill,” Eurell said.
“The series has been good, the heats have been strong. It lined up a very good race.”
Eurell said he would assess Star Missile’s recovery from the Flemington race before deciding the rest of the gelding’s campaign while Harbour Views’ trainer Matthew Williams also had some thinking to do.
Williams said he would either run Harbour Views over 2000m in the Ballarat Cup on November 23 or send the promising galloper for a spell.
Article via racenet.com.au