WEDNESDAY night’s Club Menangle Country Series Heat at Bathurst shaped up as an excellent betting race between a handful of well-credentialed chances.
Siotada didn’t figure in that conversation – but he made his doubters pay dearly.
The $81 outside shot, trained by Steve Jones and driven by Michael Munro, wasn’t touted a chance having finished eighth in his last three starts.
What a difference one week can make.
After finishing nearly 20 metres off the pace in his last start Siotada flew home on Wednesday in a mile rate of 1:56.2 to slash more than two seconds off his previous best mark.
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The time was all the more impressive given the tough conditions rain had brought to Bathurst Paceway.
Winning driver Munro – who has been in the gig for all but one of Siotada’s eight career wins – has been delighted with the gelding’s progress.
“He’s a terrific racehorse and has a tonne of ability. We trialled him earlier in the year and he ran super,” he said.
“We knew he’d take the next step to free for all class but injuries have kept him out. Since he’s come back he’s had bad luck and bad draws. Tonight he got that good draw and good luck.
“He’s got a great turn of foot. He loves being covered up, coiled up like a snake ready to pounce.”
The pace from the field was furious when the gates flew back.
In an opening quarter of 26.8 seconds Rockn And Rolln started well from the inside gate to take up the running.
Our Emancipation made a long, three wide drive to sit in the death seat ahead of Arcachon.
Race favourite Freddy Funk galloped from the start but recovered to catch up with the field.
Plenty of moves began to unfold as the field went across the back of the track for the final time.
Our Emancipation tired badly and Fantasy Level worked around the outside to challenge Rockn And Rolln.
Arcachon drifted back on the turn and that allowed Siotada – who had spent his race three back on the pegs – to find space for an outside move.
Rockn And Rolln lead the field into the final stretch.
Shandance had waited patiently for the sprint lane and made full use of it as she got by Wayne Watterson’s leader.
Siotada was in full flight for his three wide move and almost made Shandance look like she was standing still.
Jones' gelding took out the race by five metres ahead of Shandance ($10).
There was another six metres back to Last Party ($6.50) who pipped Rockn And Rolln by a nose for third.