Last stride win for Downtown Chicago

Oct 13, 2014

Promising stayer Downtown Chicago gave his owners plenty of anxious moments with a remarkable last stride win at Kilmore on Sunday.

Only a hairs breadth separated the quinella, with Daniel Moor on The Brightonian only satisfied he had finished second after a close examination of the photo finish print.

Downtown Chicago ($3) recovered from a tardy start to be fourth on the rails behind favourite The Brightonian ($2) but it wasn't until the 250m that he was able to push out into the clear and chase the leader.

Both horses cleared away from the rest with jockey Craig Robertson needing all his vigour to lift Downtown Chicago over the line by a barely discernible margin in the Joey Grbac Maiden Plate (1612m).

Downtown Chicago also had been slow from the barriers at his two other runs, but he gave the stable confidence he could win after his last start long neck second at Kilmore over (1607m).

The extra five metres of Sunday's event proved crucial and bodes well for him contesting longer races in the future.

Trainer Michael Kent said Downtown Chicago was still immature horse and his maiden win should give a lot of encouragement to his owners Trevor Eastwood, Greg Fagan, Therese Fagan, Michael Reynolds, Michael Redmond, Graeme Baker, Terry Evans, Craig Williams, Steve Patten, Mongrel Syndicate, Richard and Lisa Gardiner, Graeme Ferguson, Hotel California Syndicate, Barry Young, Noeline Ross, and Corinne and Trond Smith.

He said he would assess the Downtown Chicago over the next few days before deciding if he should have another run this spring.

"The Geelong Classic (2200m) is there on October 22 or the Connoisseur Stakes (1880m) on Oaks Day, but there is a strong chance he will be spelled," Kent said.

"He is switching on and switching off in his races and he's going to be a better horse in the autumn."

Autumn options include races like the Caulfield Autumn Classic or even the South Australian Derby.

Bought for $NZ80,000 at the 2013 NZ Ready To Run sale, Downtown Chicago is a son of French Group One winner Thewayoyouare and the first winner from Encosta de Lago Baby Gangster, who has produced two runners so far.