Gallant To the World second in The BMW
To the World (number 7)
It was Western Sydney Legends Day at Rosehill Gardens racecourse on Saturday, and a star studded field of legends, both equine and human, lined up for the A$1.5 million the The BMW over 2400 meters at the Sydney venue. German bred Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist was among the field, but the greatest of all legends, Red Cadeaux, although still refusing to give up his frequent flyer card, bypassed the race in favour of going directly to the Sydney Cup. Japan’s runner, To the World, headed to the race with a big reputation, and had ratings experts claiming he was one of the highest rated horses ever to make it to Australian shores. Furthermore, jockey Tommy Berry had commented, “When it comes to staying a trip, the Japanese horses seem to have the edge.”
Following on from Real Impact’s win in the George Ryder Stakes a week earlier, and Tosen Stardom’s second to Contributer in the Ranvet Stakes, To the World headed into The BMW as favourite, and the Yasutoshi Ikee trained 4-year-old son of King Kamehameha had found himself with a lot to prove. With four wins from ten races career to date, his last run was when he finished second to Gentildonna in the year-ending Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix), under an enterprising ride from William Buick. The BMW was just his second start over 2400 meters and his first time to carry 57.5 kg.
Come race time on Saturday, the field of eleven got away well, and To the World was restrained by jockey Nick Hall to take up sixth place in the early stages. Fast Dragon set a genuine pace upfront, with the only 3-year-old in the race, Hampton Court, in second. Godolphin’s Hartnell was settled in fifth, with To the World just behind and watching Hartnell’s every move, while Protectionist took up a position towards the rear. There was very little change throughout the race until Opinion started to backpeddle around the 900 meter mark, and just made Hartnell check, although To the World was a little further back and didn’t seem troubled by this turn of events.
After this things picked up, and both Hartnell and To the World were driven up around the outside to mount their challenges, To the World having to settle for the widest berth. As they headed down the home straight, To the World might just have had his head in front at one stage, but when jockey James McDonald asked Hartnell to kick, the response was overwhelming, and he gobbled up the ground in front of him and to the inside, there being no challenge from runners on the inside. To the World had to settle for a gallant second.
Of his duel with To the World mid-race, McDonald commented: “He (To the World) dropped off at about the 1,200 meter mark, and something happened with Opinion breaking down.” Winning trainer John O’Shea couldn’t have been more pleased with Hartnell’s victory. “When he kicked at the furlong mark, it was evident we might have had the Japanese horse’s measure,” he said.
The race was run in a time of 2 minutes, 29.5 seconds. Beaten Up ran third at 100/1 and Protectionist finished fifth.
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