Feature Win Caps Remarkable Comeback

Julius (NZ) claims a hard fought victory in the G3 J Swap Contractors Sprint at Te Rapa on Saturday. Photo: Trish Dunell
Julius (NZ) claims a hard fought victory in the G3 J Swap Contractors Sprint at Te Rapa on Saturday. Photo: Trish Dunell

Super-talented Karaka graduate Julius (NZ) (Swiss Ace) completed a dream comeback from injury with victory in Saturday’s $70,000 Group 3 J Swap Contractors Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa.

The $44,000 Select Sale purchase had previously emerged as one of New Zealand’s standout sprinters, winning the Group 3 Concorde Handicap (1200m) and Darley Plate (1200m), and beaten by a nose in the Group 2 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) by 10-time Group 1 winner Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands).

He suffered a tendon injury late last year that threatened to end his burgeoning racing career, but trainer John Bell and his team nursed the stable favourite back to full health. He repaid their efforts on Saturday with an unforgettable performance.

Carrying a testing 60-kilogram topweight, Julius relentlessly finished over the top of the leaders Donna Anne Billy (NZ) (Tavistock) and Tinkalicious (NZ) (Nadeem) to win by half a length.

Winning jockey Jason Waddell was thrilled with his performance and is looking forward to the Group 1 Sistema Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day.

“What a fantastic job they’ve done to get him back,” he said. “I ride him in work five times a week and he’s my best mate.

“He’s arrogant to the point where he tows me around the track every morning, but we just love him to bits.

“I reckon he is as sound as he’s ever been, and I wanted him to get an extra kilo (rehandicap) for the Railway, as it makes my job easier. He is bang on track.”

Julius has now had 15 starts for eight wins, four seconds and two thirds. His only time out of the top three was when he finished a close fourth in his resuming run in the Listed Counties Bowl (1100m) last month.

He has earned $274,275 in stakes – more than six times his purchase price.

A half-brother to Julius will be offered at Karaka 2020. From the draft of Westbury Stud, the Reliable Man colt is Lot 145 in Book 1.

Vendor Westbury Stud
Purchaser John Bell Bloodstock & Racing (Cambridge)
Breeding Swiss Ace – Oh So Royal
Sale Lot 833, 2013 Select Sale, $44,000
Breeder G Harvey

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