Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Hopelands trainer Michael Young maintained his wonderful strike rate when his two runners Doc Holliday ($3.70) and Zazu ($3.30 favourite) fought out the finish of the Choices Floorings Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Young declared that the New Zealand-bred four-year-old Doc Holliday was the better of the two, but he favoured the six-year-old Zazu simply because of a more favourable barrier at No. 3 compared to Doc Holliday’s draw at No. 6.
Gary Hall jnr sent Zazu to the front after 250m and the gelding set a moderate pace before the tempo increased with a 27.9sec. third quarter, followed by a final 400m section of 29sec.
Doc Holliday settled down in seventh position before Chris Voak sent him forward in the first lap to race in the breeze. In what developed into a solid staying test, it was Zazu who emerged the victor. He proved too tough for his stablemate as he forged to the front in the final 55m and won by a half-length, rating 1.59.
The win certainly delighted Doc Holliday’s 20-odd owners. “I’ve got the quinella, but the wrong way round,” said Young. “I’m a terrible judge. Doc Holliday is a better horse than Zazu, but from a better barrier I thought that Zazu would get away with it.
“Chris Voak drove Doc Holliday really well, putting him into the race (early), and that made it hard for the sit-sprinters. The Doc is never impressive. He is never going to look impressive, but he always gets the job done.
“Doc Holliday has plenty of owners, all from over east and mainly from Adelaide. They found him in New Zealand, liked him and thought he would be suited to WA racing.”
Doc Holliday won three times from 24 starts in New Zealand and his six WA starts have produced four wins and two placings. He is a full-brother to Best Western, who has earned $173,564 from her three wins and 16 placings from 27 starts, with the highlight of her career being her win at $38 in the group 1 Northern Oaks at Alexandra Park in March 2019 when she defeated Belle Of Montana and Wainui Creek, rating 1.57 over 2700m.