The 2018 Canberra Shenanigans Stakes

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Race-caller Andrew Nest brings us all the excitement from the nail-biting 2018 Canberra Shenanigans Stakes — a three-horse race with a nasty end. 

And they’re off!

Malcolm’s Muddle got away quickly with Destroyer Dutton in the blinkers right with him. Behind them is Scomo’s Treasure eyeballing Lady Bishop on his outside, while Ask Abbott works the inside.

A length further back is Belgian Brawn alongside Burger With Fries, followed by Queen Cash and In The Hunt. Six lengths off the pace is four-time winner Howard’s Our Only Hope, ahead of long-time rival Costello’s Magic and a gap to Pyne, last.

At the 400, Destroyer Dutton gains the lead but takes the bend erratically, indicating an unfamiliarity with the course. Malcolm’s Muddle is falling off the pace slightly as Scomo’s Treasure gallops up to join him. Lady Bishop is tucked in behind Scomo’s Treasure and maintaining an even stride. Ask Abbott is keeping out of traffic as he continues to make his rails run. Belgian Brawn in sixth is champing at the bit and tossing his head. Not a good sign.

Queen Cash has moved up and Burger With Fries is sitting nicely on her tail. In The Hunt is having trouble on the heavy turf and is now being overhauled by Howard’s Our Only Hope, with the gelding Costello’s Magic using the slipstream of the former champion. Pyne is now five lengths last and, quite frankly, seems happy to be just jogging along.

Destroyer Dutton still heads the field... Oh, what was that? A whip being used? There might be an inquiry into the legality of that underhand act.

But it may be that Destroyer Dutton’s staying power is the main question, as Malcolm’s Muddle and Scomo’s Treasure reel him in. Lady Bishop is joining them and we can’t underestimate Ask Abbott and his waiting game. Belgian Brawn has just pig-rooted causing Queen Cash to lose her stride, which has allowed Burger With Fries to move past her. Howard’s Our Only Hope and Costello’s Magic can’t keep up with the younger mounts. In The Hunt never was and Pyne appears to be going backwards.

Oh! Malcolm’s Muddle has fallen! What a disaster! The field rushes by him.

200 to go. Destroyer Dutton is only narrowly holding off Scomo’s Treasure on the inside. Lady Bishop is boxed in behind them as Belgian Brawn presses her into the rails. And here comes Burger With Fries on the outside ... Ask Abbott is fading. Howard’s Our Only Hope and Costello’s Magic are history.

It’s neck and neck! Destroyer Dutton. Scomo’s Treasure is pegging him back. Destroyer Dutton, Scomo’s Treasure, Destroyer Dutton, Scomo’s Treasure, Scomo’s Treasure! Yes, Scomo’s Treasure’s got there by a short half head, Destroyer Dutton second and Burger With Fries third, with a flying, late run ...

So, against punters’ expectations, Scomo’s Treasure has come through to win the biggest race in the country, beating Queensland-bred late-money favourite, Destroyer Dutton. But the biggest winner of all, achieving the quinella in the race, whose influence in the industry is unparalleled and not waning with age, goes to owner and trainer, Rupert Murdoch.

And, as we look at the replay of Malcolm Muddle’s fall, we can see that the stallion has received a hoof to the leg from Destroyer Dutton, upsetting his balance, but most of the impact occurred a moment later when Ask Abbott ploughed into him. A nasty end for Malcolm’s Muddle indeed …

You can follow Andrew Nest on Twitter @andrewtnest.

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The 2018 Canberra Shenanigans Stakes

All the excitement from the nail-biting 2018 Canberra Shenanigans Stakes — a ...  
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