SO confident were punters that emerging Dubbo star Karloo Threeothree was going to win the opening race at the Bathurst Paceway on Wednesday night, he was the only runner in the field of 12 to start at single figure odds.
While the punters got it right and Barry Lew’s three-year-old saluted in the Carnival Of Cups @ Bathurst 26 Dec Pace (1,730 metres) as the hot $1.10 favourite, strong wind nearly caused an upset.
With the wind speed hitting 43km/hr and Karloo Threeothree running against it as the race leader, it took a toll.
Into the home straight driver Mat Rue was nervous about how much the Mach Three x Halcyon Franco gelding, who was chasing his third consecutive win, had left in his legs.
In the last 30 metres Karloo Threeothree clearly tired, but he had done enough earlier to hold on.
He beat home Studleigh Kristen ($16.40, John McCarthy) by 3m, clocking a 1:57.7 mile rate.
“He sure did [tire], the wind down the back tonight is horrendous,” Rue said.
“I reckon that on a normal night, that would’ve been a 1:55 run, that’s how hard it was.
“He went far quicker down the back than I wanted to, he ran a 28 [seconds split] when I wanted to do a 30 and then get home in a 28, he did it upside down which is why he was struggling.
“Turning for home I knew he was running on empty, I knew that if there was anything looming I was in a bit of trouble.”
With back-to-back wins at Bathurst prior to Wednesday night, one of them featuring a flying 27.1 seconds run home, Karloo Threeothree was a deserving favourite on Wednesday night.
The closest to him in the betting was New Zealand import The Life Of Brian at $10.60, but in the end he was almost 32m off the pace.
From his barrier one draw Karloo Threeothree began as expected – he showed gate speed and quickly took control.
McCarthy tucked into the trail with Studleigh Kristen, Midnight Bender sat on her shoulder, while second elect Life Of Brian was three back on the pegs.
That is how they stayed through a 29.8 first quarter of the last mile and as Karloo Threeothree headed into the back straight, he further lifted the intensity.
The favourite not only zipped out to a handy 2½ metres lead, but he strung the field out behind him with some 50m from first to last.
Though Karloo Threeothree tired in the closing metres as facing the breeze took a toll, he held on to win over Studleigh Kristen, while there was 22m back to Shes A Dime ($51.30, Mitch Turnbull) in third.