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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis

FIRE LANE WINS AT SURPRISING ODDS


WEDNESDAY: October 11, 2023: Funny game this racing!

Classy Godolphin three-year-old Cylinder is fourth favorite for the world’s richest race on turf, the $20m The Everest (1200m), at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

Yet the filly who beat him in the Max Lees Classic (900m) at Newcastle in November last year when both then two-year-olds were making their debuts was sent out at $19 in midweek company at Warwick Farm today – and won.

Even her leading Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup was surprised Fire Lane was at such generous odds in a Benchmark 72 Handicap (1100m).

“I suppose the punters thought she was up against it with a big weight and the outside alley (12),” he said this evening.

“But this was the first time Fire Lane had ever contested a benchmark race in her career.

“She has had a fair bit thrown at her taking on Listed and Group company, and it was great to see her get back into the winning list.”

Widdup booked apprentice Jett Stanley to utilise his 2kg claim, lessening the Hellbent filly’s weight to 58kg.

It was his only ride at the meeting, and he didn’t make a mistake.

Despite Fire Lane having to race wide from her draw, he got her home from Ballroom Bella ($8) and Eye Pea Oh ($26) to post her third victory from 10 starts.

“I scratched Fire Lane from a Benchmark 78 Handicap over the same distance at Rosehill Gardens last Saturday, so I had to run her today,” Widdup said.

“I’ll see how she does in the next few days, but she might go for a break with the Magic Millions meeting at the Gold Coast in January in mind.”

A three-year-old daughter of former smart sprinter Hellbent, Fire Lane fetched $330,000 when offered at last year’s Magic Millions yearling sale.

She is the fourth living foal of the lightly-raced Charge Forward mare Heritage Lane, and is raced by Widdup’s long-time clients, Brad Hunt’s BK Racing & Breeding and their racing manager Ben Vassallo.

. The barrier bogey has struck again with Widdup’s talented mare Ausbred Flirt at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

She has drawn barrier 14 of 17 in the $250,000 Group 3 Angst Stakes (1600m).

A first-up Randwick winner last month, Ausbred Flirt was withdrawn from a Flemington engagement last Saturday when she drew awkwardly on a soft track.

Craig Williams, who was to have ridden the mare then, will be in Sydney on Saturday and has been booked for the mount.

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