Brad Rawiller went from beaten to victorious with a remarkable ride on Lunar Links at Geelong on Friday.
The Caulfield Cup winning jockey was caught in a challenging position at the back o0f the field in a slowly run race forcing him to ride for luck on the lightly raced four-year-old.
“I didn’t think I could win,” Brad said.
He said the tactics of riding Lunar Links back looked a disastrous move when the pace came out of the race after only 100 metres in the The Valley Inn Maiden Plate (1700m).
“I was looking to make a run around the field but there was a nothing to take me into the race and then a gap opened back on the inside,” Brad said.
Quickly Lunar Links improved to fifth approaching the home turn and straightened up 2-1/2 lengths behind the leader.
“I had to zip quick (three wide) to get the run (in the straight) and he actually got to the front too soon (passing the 200m),” Brad said.
“He had a bit of look around and the horse on the inside was a chance to come back at him but when I needed him to respond he did.”
Trainer Vincent Malady had his doubts Lunar Links could win the way the race unfolded in the first 1000 metres.
“With no pace on it was always going to be hard to make that much ground,” Vincent said.
“The ride certainly won the race.”
Lunar Links started $2.70 favourite scored by a half-length from Surely Special ($10) and Buddie Rippa ($26).
Vincent’s late father Chris together with John Williams snr and jnr bred Lunar Links who is by Puissance de Lune from Keytocache.
The gelding’s maiden win came at his ninth start and while he has weighed in on five other occasions, he is still a preparation away from reaching anywhere near his potential.
“He is still very immature, lightly framed and his coat is terrible,” Vincent said.
“He is certainly good enough to win more races but he is not there yet.
“Next preparation I’m hoping he will improve and be a 2000-metre horse.”