Engine lugs record load in Ramsden rout


De Little Engine was a drifting favourite in the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (3200m), but the doubters were knocked out by a 4.25-length drubbing in the $200,000 feature.

The Danny O'Brien-trained six-year-old had his owners celebrating a furlong out, as Daniel Moor steered him to the comprehensive victory over the Melbourne Cup journey.

Not only was he a commanding winner, but De Little Engine set a new record in the Andrew Ramsden carrying 58.5kg to victory - with 58kg being the previous biggest load carried by a winner of the staying test first ran in 1964, most recently by Niwot (2011) and Gorky Park (2008).

That fact might have been the seed of doubt sown into the minds of punters, who would have seen De Little Engine drift from $2.30 to $3.20 at CrownBet pre-race - only to bolt in.

As O'Brien said, it is an easy game in hindsight.

"It looked his race, but it's never as easy as what it looks," the Flemington trainer said.

"To be fair, in the run, it was pretty painless.

"He laid up a bit closer than he has been in the past. Daniel [Moor] was happy to save the ground on him all the way on the fence.

"It opened up late, and he really out-stayed them."

O'Brien said De Little Engine has spent most of his current preparation down at their Barwon Heads stable, and he's thrived in the beach environment.

"He's barely been at Flemington, he came down Thursday afternoon and just came to the races," he added.

"He's been doing a lot more beach work, just for the older horses, changing things up a bit ... he's racing in career-best form.

"Him and Second Bullet have spent the whole autumn down there, they've always been good horses but they've found a length or two this autumn."

Moor won the Andrew Ramsden for a second time, although he was first past the post this time around. In 2006, he rode the John Salanitri-trained Derringer into second, and they won the race on protest over Desert Master.

He said the weight was his main concern, too, and he rode De Little Engine accordingly.

"I was just really conscious with 58.5kg, I wanted him to rest," Moor said.

"And he came out well, and was going to be in a nice forward position, but we were going to be wide and I wanted him tucked away and resting away.

"Down by the 2000m, he crept into the bridle a little bit, and it took half-a-furlong to get him back and get his head down in the rhythm. From then on, it was just keeping him together."

Stawell Cup winner Mujadale ($9-$8 VOP) led in running, and let two horses get by him - the winner, and Like A Carousel ($21) - however he fought back to nab second from the Ken Keys-trained stayer.

Story by Luke Sheehan, to view full story click here

Pic by Racing Photos

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