No plans for sprinter after first Group 1 run

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Albany sprinter Dream Lifter has finished 11th in his first crack at a Group 1 race in Saturday’s $1 million Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot for local pair Paul Hunter and Mitchell Pateman.

Jumping from barrier three, Dream Lifter didn’t begin the best and was bustled by Pateman to try to go forward before settling seventh in running.

Approaching the turn, the eight-year-old was impeded from straightening alongside State Solicitor and ran on gamely to finish 11th, beaten by six lengths.

Hunter said there had been no plans made with his star galloper going forward after the biggest race of his career.

“At the end of the day we weren’t good enough,” Hunter said.

“It didn’t really plan out for us but that happens — there were no excuses.

“He didn’t jump as well as he usually does and Mitchell had to dig him up to get there and he never really travelled after that.”

A post-race veterinary examination revealed Dream Lifter returned with a small abrasion to his off-hind and Hunter said he would get him checked over and give him a few days to recover before making more plans.

“We’ll check him over in the next few days,” he said.

“We’re not going to make a decision yet, make sure every-thing is OK and then go from there.”

The Great Southern had only one representative in the $100,000 Tabtouch Regional Championship: The Road To Ascot Final (1200m) also on Saturday, with Our Buddy Boy finishing 14th.

Count Kala was a late scratching after rearing behind the barriers and injuring jockey Peter Hall, while Steve Wolfe-trained duo Captivated Point and Gauged were scratched before Saturday because of the heat.

Our Buddy Boy sat second in running for hoop Lucy Warwick and faded to cross the line last, beaten by 4¼ lengths.

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