Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Brilliant young driver Emily Suvaljko, back in action after a month on the sidelines, knew what she was doing when she vacated the highly favourable one-out, one-back position with Doc Holliday after a lap in the 2130m Caduceus Club Come Up And Join Us Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Doc Holliday, a tough New Zealand-bred five-year-old, made a brief and unsuccessful challenge for the lead from $23 chance Crocodile Kid before travelling strongly in the breeze and eventually taking a narrow lead 250m from home before winning by a neck from $18 chance Mister Ardee, who finished strongly after enjoying the sit behind the pacemaker.
“Doc Holliday struggles a bit on the last bend, so he is much better outside of them (in the breeze) than coming three wide late,” said trainer Michael Young.
“I told Emily to make sure she got scooting around to get outside the leader. I actually changed his bit, and he might have come around three wide without any problems. But we took luck out of the equation. He lacks a bit of point-to-point speed, but he should continue to race well.”
Doc Holliday, who won at three of his 24 New Zealand starts, has had 12 starts in WA for Young for six wins and two placings to boost his record to 36 starts for nine wins, nine placings and $83,252. He is the fourth foal out of First Western, whose third foal Best Western has raced 27 times for three wins and 16 placings for stakes of $173,564. First Western’s dam Kates First was a brilliant pacer who earned $624,023 from 19 wins and 19 placings from 65 starts. She won three group 1 events and three in group 2 feature events.