Flying Martian dead-heats

In a nail-biting finish imported galloper Martian had to share his initial Australian success at Morphettville on Adelaide Cup day.

Ridden by Matthew Neilson, Martian flew home to figure in a deadheat with Slippery Ninja, which had been widely hailed the winner of the Audi Solitaire Handicap (1600m).

Resuming from a spell, the five-year-old started a well backed $3 favourite, and trainer Tony McEvoy was very pleased with the effort.

“He’s a horse who will be much better over more ground, but fresh I thought he could win,” McEvoy said.

After jumping on terms, Martian eased back to settle towards the tail of the field settling down and Neilson had to ask him to quicken from as far as 800 metres out.

“I was surprised he came off the bit so early,” McEvoy said. “I really thought he would settle just off the pace, then go bang when he was let down.

“Credit to Matthew he rode him hard and the horse responded in the home straight, appearing to get better the further the race went.

“Matthew said his last 20 metres were his best of the race.

“I thought he had arrived in time to win but the judge couldn’t split them on the line.”

McEvoy said he would see how Martian came through the race before mapping any firm plans but did believe the gelding had some real talent and was a horse to follow over more ground.

Martian, a winner of two races in England, is owned by Mr Pan Sutong, owner of Goldin Farms in Angaston, which is the former Lindsay Park Stud, and neighbour to Kildalton Park, home of the McEvoy Mitchell Racing Stables.




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