Zac Lloyd hits the Target with Newcastle treble

Michael Hawkes feared the decision to transfer Gosford’s stand-alone Saturday meeting to Newcastle might come against consistent gelding Semillion, but in the end the venue change mattered little.

The on-pace runner was able to adapt to the more expansive Newcastle circuit, dictating throughout and kicking strongly under Zac Lloyd to land his second black-type win in the Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m).

“They transferred it to Newcastle, it was probably a great thing for racing but for this bloke, Gosford probably would have suited him well being a shorter straight,” Hawkes said.

“But with nothing taking him on, he just jumped, relaxed. He got into a beautiful rhythm and Zac just let him go through the gears and with the light weight, he’s won very well.”

The decision to move the feature program from Gosford was made on Thursday after officials became concerned the heavy track conditions there wouldn’t stand up to further rain.

The meeting went ahead on a heavy 9 surface at Newcastle and Semillion, who claimed the 2022 Kindergarten Stakes at Randwick in similar conditions, skipped through it.

Hawkes felt an inside draw in barrier two proved crucial after the gelding finished a gallant second from an outside gate in Melbourne last time out.

“Last start, he should have won, he just drew a bad barrier and got pipped on the post,” Hawkes said.

“It’s his first win at 1200 but over the distance, he’s just never had any luck.

“He’s had bad barriers and unfortunately in this day and age, everything is very even and barriers win races.

“It’s good he drew well today, jumped, led and kicked on the corner. It’s a very deserving win for him.”

Semillion ($3.90 fav) scored by a length over Tashi ($5.50), who was doing her best work late, with Astero ($12) holding down third.

The victory continued an outstanding afternoon for Lloyd, who celebrated a treble aboard Semillion following earlier victories on Godolphin youngster Pisces and the Queensland Oaks-bound Scarlet Oak.

About RS NewsWire

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