CARDIOLOGY is poised to represent NSW in back-to-back National Distance Championships after a stunning return to form in last Saturday night’s State Distance heats at Wentworth Park.
Bred, owned and trained by Kayla Coleman, Cardiology, a well-related March ’14 daughter of Where’s Pedro and Amnesia, won the 2016 NSW Distance Final before heading to Adelaide for the Grand Final where she led but was run down late when a close sixth to Victorian Ring The Bell.
Heading into last Saturday’s NSW Distance heats, Cardiology hadn’t won over ‘700’ since her all-the-way victory in the State Distance Final twelve months ago, while she’d only had one start over the half-mile in 2017.
That was at her previous run, in a 725m handicap at The Meadows, where she led but was beaten 26 lengths, while at her previous start she ran fifth in a heat of the Group 2 McKenna Memorial over 595m at Sandown, beaten 16 lengths.
Back home in NSW after those two resounding Melbourne defeats, Cardiology started at $9 from box eight in the second of two NSW Distance heats, with the emerging Sherbini ($2) and Ebby Ripper ($2.30) heading the market.
Cardiology began well and quickly moved into second behind outsider Frekey and after dashing to the lead in the back straight she opened up a huge advantage as she defeated Ebby Ripper by 4 ¼ lengths in 42.34, her 20th win from 55 starts bringing a sigh of relief from Kayla Coleman.
“It was more of a relief than a surprise,” Coleman offered.
“I wasn’t really surprised because that’s how she can go. Her form reversal was her previous run at The Meadows, not Saturday night. The run at The Meadows was the one people should’ve questioned but everyone has their own opinion.
“She was very unlucky in the McKenna Memorial heats and The Meadows race was her first 700 since November because she came on season at the end of last year and took a long time to get over it.
“The plan was to take her down to Melbourne for four runs to prepare for the Nationals because we couldn’t get a run with her in NSW.
“But I was suffering morning sickness so we decided to leave her down there and I think the different training routine affected her. She also pulled up with a calf problem after The Meadows run.
“She doesn’t pace herself in her 700 races so she needs to be worked hard to flatten her a bit so she doesn’t go too hard too early and being back home in her usual routine made a difference. She got a nice sit in a small field and ran very good sections.”
Cardiology was the faster of the two heat winners, with Dean Swain’s odds-on favourite Starzsa Light, a December ’14 daughter of Barcia Bale and Zsa Zsa, claiming the opening qualifier in 42.86.
Cardiology has drawn box seven for her defence of the NSW Distance crown and if she can repeat last year’s success Coleman believes Brisbane’s Albion Park will prove more suitable than Angle Park was in 2016.
“It was a big thrill to go to Adelaide last year, but the only problem was the 731m at Angle Park,” Coleman explained.
“They take an extra second to run the 731m, which is 15 lengths, and she only caved in over the last ten metres.
“The 710m at Albion Park would be a much better trip for her, but she’s got to make it first.
“She pulled up good after Saturday night and you would think she’d benefit from the run, being her first 700 this year.
“She’s drawn box seven but it will be harder to get across this week in a full field and I’d like her to be sitting one, two or three. In last year’s State Final she had the red and led all-the-way, which eliminates any drama happening.”
On Friday night at Richmond, Coleman’s partner Shaun Evans will be hoping exciting youngster Rockstar Stratus can continue the bright start to her career in the $10,000 to-the-winner Phil Davis Memorial Final.
A September ’15 daughter of My Bro Fabio and Midnight Quest, Rockstar Stratus won two of her first four starts at Bulli over 472m in scorching time, clocking 26.08 and 26.21, before stepping up to 535m at Richmond in the Phil Davis Memorial heats.
Starting at $3.20 from box two, Rockstar Stratus claimed her third win from five starts when storming home to beat favourite Miss Splendamiro by 1 ¾ lengths in a smart 30.87.
“It was a massive run,” Coleman said.
“We thought she was gone when she got into early trouble but she was able to wind up and run good time and she beat good dogs too. We knew she had the ability but she’s only had a few starts and she’s a bit immature so it was good to see her show that much will to win.
“The final is worth $10,000 to-the-winner but it’s only $645 for second so hopefully she wins by a nose and doesn’t get beaten by a nose!”