Phoenix Match Race Falls Over At Final Hurdle

A mooted match race between Phoenix hopefuls Koblenz and Wow She’s Fast at The Meadows this Saturday night has fallen over at the final hurdle.

Adam Dobbin

30 November 2021

A mooted match race between Koblenz and Wow She’s Fast at The Meadows this Saturday night has fallen over at the final hurdle.

The mouthwatering clash was to feature the Melbourne Cup-winning Koblenz and gifted youngster Wow She’s Fast in a race labelled The Phoenix Contenders Match Race Special Event (525m).

The event was slated to feature the frontrunners for both the SEN and Sportsbet slots in The TAB Phoenix at The Meadows on December 18.

Koblenz is in line for the SEN spot while Wow She’s Fast is atop of the list for Sportsbet.

The match race spectacle was expected to be the vehicle for both organisations to formally announce their The Phoenix runners amid plenty of fanfare and promotion a fortnight out from the inaugural event.

But at the weekend Koblenz’s trainer David Geall made the decision to bypass the match race with a view to ensuring his Melbourne Cup hero is spot-on for The Phoenix if selected.

“He’s had a really tough campaign from the Cranbourne Cup through to the Melbourne Cup,” Geall said.

“If we get a start in The Phoenix then our responsibility to the slot holder is to ensure he’s in the best possible shape for that race.

“I just felt another hard 500 metre run this weekend on two-turns would work against that.

“The plan from here will be to give him a one-turn trial or start leading into the race.

“Going into the Melbourne Cup I just felt he was losing a bit in the run home so we eased off his work a bit. We took a risk and it paid off but now it’s time to take the foot off the pedal slightly to make sure he’s right in a few weeks’ time.”

If Koblenz wins The Phoenix he would become the greatest prize money earner of all time, surpassing the $1.36m amassed by the great Fanta Bale during her decorated career.

But Geall says a potential record prize money breaking victory in the showpiece event won’t bring about a retirement to stud for his regally-bred superstar.

“We’ll race on win, lose or draw,” Geall said.

“I’d love to take him to Sydney in the New Year for races like the Paws Of Thunder, Golden Easter Egg and Million Dollar Chase.

“If he could follow in his mum’s (Up Hill Jill) footsteps and win a Easter Egg that would be very special.”

Following news that Koblenz wouldn’t assume his place in Saturday’s planned match race moves were made to find another contender to keep the event alive but to no avail.