08 October 2020 | Paul Courts
AUSTRALIAN Pacing Gold purchase Crunch Time equalled a national record with his breathtaking performance at Club Menangle today.
Contesting a New South Wales Breeders’ Challenge heat, the son of Somebeachsomewhere blitzed his rivals with a power display of speed.
Covering the mile in a scintillating 1:49.6, Crunch Time matched the record for an Australian-bred three-year-old.
Muscle Factory established the mark at the 1400-metre circuit on January 5, 2019.
Balraj, which is set to contest Saturday night’s Victoria Cup, holds the Australasian three-year-old record thanks to his 1:49.1 victory at Club Menangle on August 6, 2019.
Understandably thrilled with the gelding’s effort, trainer Rickie Alchin revealed a quick time was part of his pre-race plans.
“I felt the best way to beat Expensive Ego, which was the favourite, was to run him off his feet,” Alchin said.
“So I told Cameron (Hart, driver) to make sure he lets them run along and give the horse his head.”
Showing tremendous gate speed from barrier four, Crunch Time had no trouble finding the lead as Expensive Ego was forced to work overtime in the ‘death seat’.
Fending off the initial challenge leaving the back straight, Crunch Time proved too slick along the home stretch to score by two-and-a-half metres from Our Money Rocks, with Mach Dan 12-and-a-half metre away third.
Taking his record to nine wins and 10 placings from 33 starts, Crunch Time covered the last half in 54.1 seconds.
“It was a super run from him,” Alchin said. “I’ll give him a couple of days off now then get him ready for the semi-finals at Menangle in 11 days,
“Hopefully after that it will be on to the Final the following week.”