Feb 08, 2014
It has not been an easy road to Pauling's second Moonee Valley victory, his success in the 3000m event on Friday night a hard fought and much deserved one.
Saluting in impressive fashion at the same track at his debut back in March 2012, the lightly raced seven-year-old has endured his share of bad luck since.
First there were the injuries sustained in a track accident, then a wind operation, then a virus - and then a tendon injury!
Many a less patient owner than Greg Sceney would have given up on Pauling long ago but, having bred the son of Desert King specifically to stay, he has been determined to give the gelding every chance to put his stamina abilities on display.
A winner over 2400m at Mornington two starts ago - then a strong finishing second over 100m longer at Moonee Valley on January 24 - Pauling was nicely primed for his first crack at 3000m.
"Mick always said these 3000m races at Moonee Valley would be ideal for him," Greg said - "and he was right!"
Settling back on the rails for Vlad Duric was having his first ride on Pauling, the dark brown galloper looked to be in need of luck approaching the turn - not afforded a great deal of room by the runners around him.
But Duric was patient, genly angling Pauling out into the clear at the top of the straight and letting him go. By this time the leader Master's Degree (who had beaten Pauling last time out) had skipped clear and he looked to have the race in his keeping.
But Pauling was not to be denied - Greg Miles' call summing it up best; "Pauling is coming home hard now - he's storming home!"
Drawing clear late to win by half a length with plenty in hand, Pauling recorded the third win of just 14 starts, much to the delight of the Sceney family who were all on hand to celebrate.
As were several members of the Victorian Pedigree Group - one that was established by Greg and of which Mick is a member. The group of 20 or so friends meet once a month to discuss all things racing and breeding and Greg was delighted to invite his friends in to enjoy his win with him.
He admits that during the race, he was worried about Pauling's position on the rails - "I was concerned that he was gettling locked in, but Vlad was patient and got him out at the right time."
Duric noted that he was always confident during the race, Pauling getting into a lovely stayer's rhythm.
"And as soon as I got out I was pretty confident," he said.
Not only was Pauling bred by Greg - but so was his dam Roadhouse Blues who has another two lovely youngsters to emerge - a full sister to Pauling currently at Mick's stable with spring Oaks ambitions - and a good-looking New Approach weanling colt.
Photo courtesy of Grant Courtney.