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24/01/02 Code Dazzles in Race Track Return
0125royalcode.jpg (15878 bytes)Tonight's last stride Qantas Carlyon Stakes winner Royal Code could be aimed toward the Group One Australian Cup after upsetting Intelligent Star at Group Two level at Moonee Valley under lights.

Trained David Hall, who'd all but given up hope of winning the race at the point of the turn, said first the exciting three-year-old colt would face his own age group in the Australian Guineas.

The short priced favourite Intelligent Star, the Mick Price trained sprinter who was gunning for the straight stakes wins, looked all over a winner turning for home when he burst clear but was grabbed in the final stride by the lightly raced winner.

Hall said the gelding had shown ability as soon as he was first tested by his father, veteran Morphettville based trainer Joe Hall.

"He was brought for $35,000 in Adelaide and he stayed there and Dad did all of the early work on him. We got a call early that the horse's future would lay in Melbourne," Hall reflected.

"He was a Super VOBIS qualified horse and his debut in Adelaide was very impressive," he added.

Winning jockey Steven Arnold like Hall had nearly given up hope of winning the race at the point of the home turn.

"He hit a flat spot at the top of the straight. Ustinov swept past him on the outside and everything got a little tight and he lost his position," Arnold said after unsaddling.

"I expected him to run home nicely and finish a good third. I didn't think he had a hope of winning after striking trouble at the top of the home straight," Arnold said.

Arnold predicted a bright future for the winner declaring he was "a Group One horse for sure."

Ustinov ran a sensational race. Run off his legs early his finish was very strong and he is sure to strip fitter next time out.

Sir Chuckle, which showed plenty of early pace, dropped out from the top of the straight as expected after a dramatic rise in class.

PIC - Quentin Lang

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