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Cambridge Thoroughbred Lodge's Lee Somervell admitted he had all but given up on Addictive Habit’s chances of another prestige victory at Riccarton before his stubborn stable star rallied for a gallant win.
The Cambridge trainer believed his six-year-old was down for the count half-way through Wednesday’s Gr.2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile and a drifting 100-1 chance defend his title.
Addictive Habit purple cap, Ringo on his inner and Breaking Dawn orange cap
“I put my glasses down at the 600, I thought he was too far back,” Somervell said.
In a race that changed complexion, Addictive Habit found his second wind to come with an undeniable finish to continue his big race form.
“He is just fantastic and it was a great ride by Sam Spratt,” Somervell said. “He’s a lot better than he was last year and it’s a hugely prestigious race, but the weight was worrying me as well.”
Addictive Habit was up two and a half kilos to 59kg from his win 12 months ago, earned through subsequent successes in a Listed race in Queensland during the winter and homecoming victories in the Gr.2 Foxbridge Plate and the Gr.1 Livamol Classic.
He was then unplaced in his Riccarton lead-up in the Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate where an inside gate brought about his downfall.
“At Trentham he got knocked around and he needs to be out in the clear,” Spratt said.
While she was able to position Addictive Habit in the open on Wednesday, it didn’t look to be working to their advantage 600 metres from home.
“I was flat and others were passing us,” Spratt said. “I thought he was beaten for all money, but once he straightened and balanced up he really picked himself up and it was a huge run.”
Addictive Habit drove hard to get the better of Ringo on the post with the longshot Breaking Dawn taking third money. Front-runner Allez Eagle folded late to finish fourth ahead of Platinum Witness. – NZ Racing Desk.