Benalla trainer Russell Osborne’s Red Impulse started red-hot favourite in the $23 000 Hygain Maiden Plate over 1000 m at Echuca last week.
Carrying the lightest load (55 kg) in the second on the card, with Harry Coffey in the saddle, the three-year-old filly was having only her second start after finishing third on debut at Wangaratta nine days earlier.
The only horse punters really wanted, she opened at $2.90, tightened to $2.50 10 minutes before they jumped, but had eased to $3.40 when the starter let them go. There was some support for Bandinelli and Tapesprit, but after that it was $10 the field.
Before the race Olivia Osborne, representing the stable, said Red Impulse’s first run was impressive considering the horse had been trapped wide early and then hung out on the turn.
She said Coffey did a good job despite that and was offered the ride at Echuca as a result.
“Starting from barrier six, so we're hoping she wouldn’t get trapped and can either roll forward or sit in behind the pace if it’s on,” Osborne said.
“We’re a bit more confident about her today than we were last start.”
The race started with a mad charge as half the field jockeyed for the front running before Tapesprit took over the running and had the field working overtime to keep in touch.
At the 400 m Tapesprit looked a winner and as they came off the turn into the straight it jumped even further ahead.
By the 200 m it was almost three lengths clear of the field before stopping to a walk as Ourzacracker and Red Impulse started to really wind it up and they came flying down the straight about three off the rails.
The course commentator was the first to write off the pacesetter as the other two horses went head for head towards the line, with Red Impulse holding on (just).
And her backers would have been delighted as the horse paid $4.50 and $1.70 — a much better outcome than earlier prices on the day.
It was a relieved Osborne after the race.
“I thought she was going to get beaten, but she found the line really well,” Osborne said.
“She has started her career really well and we are excited for her potential in the future.”
Coffey said Red Impulse had put in a “really good” effort on the day.
He also said the Osborne stable had been doing an outstanding job with its horses.
“This one went to Wang and got a pretty average steer by its rider — yes, that was me — and I thought ‘I wonder when I’ll see that horse again’ but it’s popped up pretty quickly,” he said.
“In what was a very winnable race here at Echuca, but she is still a bit raw and had to be guided in places.
“I hope to keep the ride on her as there is some genuine upside there as she is still doing a couple of things wrong.
“I always felt we were going to win so long as we didn’t try to do it with a rush, and although it did come right down to the line I still felt we were going to win.”