Karl Khoder stable’s flag bearer, Rule The Air, was the first leg of a remarkable brace of wins in the latest round of Juvenile Classic Qualifiers which saw him stake his claim on the Juvenile Championships in uncompromising style.
Over a 2400m trip without too much rain getting into the turf, Karl Khoder must have fancied the chances of his Rule The Air coming out on top in this latest bout between his own horse and persistent rival Dakota Celery who represents owner Inxs. It is easy to forget the rest when these two old foes come together but they are far from the only talent in this bracket. Cepat Kaya’s French Fried has yet to win a qualifier but has shown plenty of quality and looked ready to take an event of this type when getting closest to Rule The Air in his most recent attempt in a Juvenile Classic Qualifier. AP822’s Ap Godzilla never seems to be too far away in these events and Foggydan’s King O’ The Realm also has some placed efforts in qualifiers to his credit. In fact it was Foggydan’s bay who was to surpass himself here and put up a career best effort to split the leading pair under an inspired ride from jockey, Abel Torres. Rule The Air crossed the line first in the $200 added to stakes contest in ready fashion but unable to get his toe in today, Dakota Celery had to settle for third place.
Dakota Celery still heads the overall standings for November’s Championship final but with a reduced four point lead over Karl Khoder’s Rule The Air. The pair remain well clear of third placed Ap Godzilla who came home in fourth here.
Karl Khoder’s contestant for the fillies’ event had a little more to prove at this level. The lightly raced Viktoria’s Secret had won two of her first three starts, her only defeat coming when running second to Jekegr Stables’ Tabak Especial in her only previous attempt in a classic qualifier. There is certainly not much wrong with that form but some of her opponents here had already proven their credentials time and again.
Amongst them was Gnb Racing’s star filly, Bank Note, twice a winner in qualifiers already this season at both sprint and classic distances. Also in the line up was Filante Stables’ chestnut filly, Pool Party who had looked really hot property when claiming a quartet of qualifier wins in a remarkable two week period. With the current leader of this division’s standings, Chromium also taking part as well as Cepat Kaya’s pair of Divas and Inxs’ Dakota Princess joining the fray, this was a race with strength in depth that would take some winning.
It took the masterful handling of top jockey, Jack Ford to make the difference here and he was able to steer Viktoria’s Secret a winning path to complete a memorable double for owner, Karl Khoder. Inxs’ gray, Dakota Princess, continued her run of placed efforts in these events to finish second here and it probably won’t be too long before she finds the winner’s enclosure again. Pool Party edged out Bank Note to hold third place.
Chrisman’s Chromium still leads the way in the standings but the pack are closing in. Bank Note is currently in second ahead of Pool Party in third spot. Viktoria’s Secret moves up into eighth place following her win here.