Ken Casellas | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing
August Moon, described by her trainer Luke Edwards as the real deal, gave a sample of her class with a superb victory in the $20,250 Noah George Race Night Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Her victory ended a sequence of four second placings and showed that she should develop into a leading candidate for the $225,000 Westbred Classic for two-year-old fillies on September 16.
“She is not paid up for the Diamond Classic next month, and her main goal is the Westbred Classic,” said Edwards.
August Moon was a $6 chance from barrier three, and Gary Hall Jnr was hellbent on getting her to the front. He succeeded, with August Moon charging forward and then being tackled by $9 chance Wanlea, who began brilliantly from the outside barrier (No. 9).
Wanlea, driven by Chris Voak, led by a length after 100m, but was unable to wrest the lead from August Moon, who covered the lead time in a dazzling 35sec.
August Moon then relaxed and ambled over the opening quarters of the final mile in 32.1sec. and 31.7sec. before she had to fend off $6.50 chance Zephyra, who had settled down in eighth position before Dylan Egerton-Green urged her forward with a fast three-wide move approaching the bell.
August Moon defied this serious challenge, and after a third quarter of 28.8sec. she fought on grimly to hold out the fiercely determined Zephyra to win by a head at a 1.59.6 rate over the 2130m journey.
Polemarker Cabsav, the $2.05 favourite, raced two back and then three back on the pegs before wilting to finish eighth. Reinsman Shannon Suvaljko explained her lack-lustre performance when he said that the filly appeared to be suffering form a virus.
August Moon, who was cost $38,000 at the 2021 APG Perth yearling sale, is raced by first-time owners Graham Michell and his sons Will and Lachie, Justin Schwarz, Ray Behan and a syndicate of about six stable clients.
The Captaintreacherous filly has now earned $40,399 from her win and four seconds from six starts. She has obviously inherited much of her ability from her dam My Samantha Jane, who raced 72 times for 15 wins, 21 placings and $166,426 in stakes.
“She is a brave filly, and that’s how she is at home,” said Edwards. “If you don’t work her first, she gets grumpy. She is a tough cookie who loves to work. Normally, a two-year-old can’t run that sort of lead time, and then kick on at the finish. But she has a great will to win, and in all her races she has come from behind and found the line.”