Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Lord Titanium, a lazy colt who was struggling to keep up in last place at the bell when his driver Michael Grantham was busily urging him to keep his mind on the job, caused a major upset when he surged home under heavy punishment from last in the field of seven at the 300m mark to score a convincing victory in the $50,000 DTS Farm Fence Champagne Classic for two-year-olds at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Lord Titanium, a $51.20 outsider, gave his part-owner and trainer Steve De Campo his first city success for exactly five years — since he prepared Machrihanish for his three-length win over Shirlz Sensation at Gloucester Park on March 24, 2017.
The unexpected win gave the 63-year-old De Campo his 150TH training success and his first win in a group 2 feature event. It was the 26-year-old Grantham’s 540TH driving victory and his eighth in a group 2 event.
De Campo selected Lord Titanium at the 2021 APG Perth yearling sale and purchased him for $22,000. He now races the colt in partnership with a group of stable clients. The colt now has earned $34,740 from one win, a second and a third placing from four starts.
“I bought him because I liked his breeding,” said De Campo. “He was out of Betshes Precious, quite a nice mare by Bettors Delight. The colt was a bit small when I bought him, but he has developed into nice horse.
“He will now go into the paddock for four days and then he will come back to get ready for the heats of the APG Gold Bullion on April 5 and 12.” After the $50,000 Gold Bullion final on April 22 De Campo will be looking ahead for the $100,000 on August 26 and the $125,000 Golden Slipper on September 30.
Betshes Precious, who was trained by Justin Prentice, won at her first two starts as a two-year-old at Gloucester Park in April 2016, and later Grantham drove her ten times for four third placings as a four-year-old. Betshes Precious was retired after racing 73 times for nine wins, 16 placings and stakes of $66,366.
Lord Titanium, the first foal out of Betshes Precious, is by the American stallion Control The Moment (by Well Said) who raced 18 times as a juvenile in the United States for 12 wins, three placings and $1,227,832 in prizemoney. Lord Titanium was bred by KTC Bloodstock.
“I was hoping that Lord Titanium would run in the first four,” said De Campo, who is the groundsman at Donaldson Park, the home of the Bunbury Trotting Club. “He is a lazy horse, and you need to keep at him all the time. The more you yell at him, the more he goes. They went hard early which suited him.”
Major Overs, an easy winner at his first two starts, but a $26 chance from the outside barrier in Friday night’s classic, began brilliantly for Chris Lewis and burst straight past the polemarker Rolling Fire, and the lead time was covered in a fast 35sec.
Valedictorian, the $1.30 favourite after his impressive wins at his two starts, challenged unsuccessfully for the lead after 400m before taking the sit behind the freewheeling Major Overs. Sorridere ($5) then was left in the breeze, with Major Overs covering the first three quarters of the final mile in 30.3sec., 30.5sec. and 30.2sec.
Valedictorian was badly blocked for a run in the final circuit, and he was travelling strongly approaching the home turn when he contacted a sulky wheel of Sorridere and broke into a gallop. He dropped back and finished last.
Lord Titanium forged to the front 70m from the post and won by a length from Major Overs, who fought on doggedly, while $71 outsider Lethal Edition sustained a solid three-wide burst over the final 600m to be third, a nose behind Major Overs. Sorridere wilted finish sixth.