IN the lead up to Saturday night’s Group 1 Chariots Of Fire, The Lagoon trainer Steve Turnbull predicted his runner Atomic Red was good enough to be in the mix and that Jilliby Kung Fu would be hard to beat.
As it turned out, he was right on both fronts when it came to the $200,000 feature run over the mile at Menangle.
Victorian four-year-old Jilliby Kung Fu stole the limelight with an Australasian record equalling run of 1:48.8. The $2.10 favourite burned out from barrier seven and went on to win by 1.3 metres in an effort which earned him a place in the Miracle Mile field.
“This horse has matured so much as a four-year-old from the young horse that just refused to run past other horses. Now he’s the full package, ” winning driver Jason Lee said.
Atomic Red ($5.60), with Steve Turnbull’s daughter Amanda Turnbull in the gig, managed to run an 8.6m third in a bold effort given he contended with a flat tyre.
After going from barrier eight, he sat outside the leader and only faded slightly as they ran home in 26.6 seconds.
Atomic Red was the best placed of Turnbull’s three chances with Conviction ($57.60, Steve Turnbull) eighth and Joes Star Of Mia ($58.60, Mitch Turnbull) ninth.
Ashlee Grives, in the gig for New Zealand trainer Mark Jones, placed fourth with Whittaker ($21.40), while Chris Frisby’s Our Uncle Sam ($17.50) finished at the rear of the field.