THE aptly-named Daryl Archard-trained gelding Produced live up to his name by performing when it mattered most to lead from start to finish in the $15,000 Griffith Cup (1350m) on Saturday.
Despite coming up against the best quality field since the race day returned to Dalton Park three years ago, Produced ($4.40) settled well in front as pace-maker before fending off several spirited efforts down the straight.
Most notably to challenge seriously for the lead was the Gino D’Altorio Sonro ($3.40eq fav), who could not make up the ground in the final 200m to finish second by a length.
With plenty of runners preferring the early speed, the track record was always a chance to fall by the wayside, but Produced smashed the old mark set by Mrs Menzies in 2011.
And despite carrying 60kg, Archard’s big hope stopped the clock in 1.17.99 – more than two seconds better than the time set last year.
Archard said he had his eye on the Griffith Cup for up to a month, and said Produced’s preparation could not have gone to plan better.
“We took him to Mildura and the track was terribly cut up and he doesn’t handle bad tracks these days, and with a big weight he only got beaten by two lengths,” Archard said. “Then we went to Geelong last week and on a sand-based track he ran very well and then we looked at this race because he pulled up very well.”
Asked if he was ever concerned with the likely early speed from others such as Sonro, Chinzia and Cosmic Fury, Archard said the strength showed by Produced to grind the other hopes into the ground was there for all to see.
“People say they have a ‘leader’, but this horse is a leader through and through – he’s a tough old campaigner and he just breaks others’ hearts,” he said.
“A lot of good horses have taken him on and he comes out and punches them at the end, he just keeps going. 60(kg) is a big weight, but because he puts so much pressure in the race, he’ll keep on going on at that pace and he’ll take any sprinter out of the others.”
Given how well Produced ran out the distance, Archard said he will next aim to take out the Jerilderie Cup on September 22.
“If the right race comes along we’ll look to take him out longer, and he’s going to the Jerilderie Cup,” he said.
“We’ll have to wait and see what weight he gets. We have the option of claiming if we need to.”
It was a day that promised much for D’Altorio, but his stable came up short more often than not, with Sonro, Miss Mafassa and the highly touted Caradak Pegasus all finishing second.