Eluding his rivals again
Eluding notched his fifth win from just 14 starts at Sandown Hillside on Wednesday, February 23, courtesy of a top ride by John Allen.
The Tony & Calvin McEvoy-trained five-year-old was a comfortable winner of the Ladbrokes Punter Assist Benchmark 78 Handicap (1400m).
Allen allowed Eluding to stride up outside the leader on settling down and controlled the tempo.
Past the 300-metre mark, he allowed the gelding to extend and he won well.
An $8.50 chance, Eluding scored by three-quarters of a length from Ocean’s Jen ($4.40 equal fav) with Think ‘N’ Fly ($6) a long neck away third.
Trainer Tony McEvoy said Eluding had been racing well apart from his last start.
“Last time he put his head down as the gates opened and made a mistake,” McEvoy said.
“He missed it by five and got beaten three, so he ran really well.
“He’s had a long campaign and is a light-fleshed Toronado but is very honest galloper that loves his racing.
“I think he will be even better on tracks that have got a bit of give in them.
“But he’s also got a good record on a good three track as he showed today.
“We’ll let him do the talking but it is very hard to turn a horse out when he’s at the top of his form.
“If the horse is tired when he gets home, we’ll go to the paddock.”
Winning rider John Allen wasn’t perturbed that Eluding was slow to jump at his last start.
“I think that might have been a one-off,” Allen said.
“Looking at his previous runs he had never missed it before.
“He began well enough today – we were a bit wide early.
“They were going slow to I elected to keep rolling forward.
“Once he got outside the lead he got into a pretty good rhythm.
“He gave a good kick in the straight and it was good to get a win.
“He’s quite progressive and won well today.
“Hopefully there is a nice Saturday race for him.”