A ‘Goldilocks’ track has helped Daytona Bay (American Pharoah) find his way back to the winner’s circle when he nosed out the previously unbeaten Altivo (Wootton Bassett) in a photo finish at Flemington on Saturday in the In Memory of Dean Holland (1800m).
Prepared by Peter Moody, Daytona Bay won four of his first five starts, with the consistent galloper returning a winner for the first time since August.
Bred by Rangiora’s Geoff Taylor, the son of American Pharoah sat second throughout under Tom Stockdale before digging deep to narrowly get the better of Altivo.
Coleman said that the Soft 5 conditions were perfect for Daytona Bay.
“I think we’ve finally found a track that really suits him,” Coleman said.
“He doesn’t like it too firm, and he also doesn’t like it too soft, so I said to Tom Stockdale pre-race that we might have a Goldilocks track today that is just right.
“I think we’ve had everything work out in our favour today and it’s just fantastic.
“We were very lucky to get it, but I was so thrilled because this horse really deserves it.
“He’s a really tough horse and connections Ron and Judi Wanless have been very patient with him and persevered with him.
“For Tom Stockdale as well, he’s ridden him really well today. He stuck to instructions, and he’s done a lot of work at home, so rapt for him to get the reward today.”
Daytona Bay was purchased by Moody for $360,000 from the Curraghmore draft at the 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale.
The four-year-old is out of the Group Three winner Soubrettes (NZ) (High Chaparral) and is a half-brother to stakes performer Toscanini (Fastnet Rock). – NZ Racing Desk