Julius Looks to Break Twenty One Year Drought
It has been twenty one years since a horse has won the Railway-Telegraph double in the same year and the ‘big boy’ Julius will attempt to end the drought when he steps out in tomorrow’s JR & N Berkett Telegraph at Trentham.
The last horse to win the two major sprints in the same year was the Paul O’Sullivan trained Bawalaksana in 1999, running a Race Record for the feature sprint of 1:06.51 for the 1200m with Lance O’Sullivan in the saddle – record which still stands today.
The John Bell trained gelding by Swiss Ace returned to the track in November after a tendon injury threatened his retirement, and since returning he has been in sterling form capturing the J Swap Contractors Sprint Handicap Gr.3 and the Sistema Railway Stakes at Ellerslie at his most recent start. While he is eight years old, Julius has had just the 16 starts for 9 wins, only once finishing out of the first three when fourth in the Counties Bowl at his first run back since injuring his tendon.
A win on Saturday would also be a first in the race for inform jockey Jason Waddell who has struck a marvellous affinity with the son of Swiss Ace. The hardest to beat on Saturday would appear to be the Australian visitor Winter Bride who finished second to Julius in the Railway Stakes and is receipt of a further kilogram in weight when they meet tomorrow, while Enzo’s Lad will be looking for his third win in the race, and Avantage, Endless Drama, Evalina, and Dawn Patrol are all capable of featuring in the finish.
Out of the Danzero mare Oh So Royal, Julius was a $44,000 purchase as a yearling for John Bell and has a half-brother – the last foal of his dam – by Reliable Man heading to Karaka next week as Lot 145.