Tuvalu takes out Winter Championship Series Final at Flemington

Tuvalu did not let his army of supporters down despite having the widest draw in the VRC-CRV Winter Championship Series Final at Flemington.

The Lindsey Smith-trained galloper was sent out a heavily supported $2.20 favourite to take out Saturday’s Listed race over 1600m.

Jumping smartly from the widest barrier in the 15-horse field, jockey Jarrod Fry took Tuvalu to front where he was able to control the race.

Edging off the fence rounding the home turn, Tuvalu sprinted clear of his rivals in the straight and led home Sir Davy ($6.50) by two lengths with Mystery Shot ($15) a further 1-¼ lengths away third.

It was Smith’s second win in the Winter Championship Final following the success of Reykjavik in 2019.

“This fella is a better horse than Reyjkavik,” assistant-trainer Shane Jackson said.

“Lindsey is a very good judge and from day one we thought he was a good horse.

“It’s a credit to Lindsey and the great team we’ve got at home. We’ve only a small team but we do a pretty good job with the small team that we have to play on these days.

“We’ve a great supporter in Chris Wells and Brad Spicer and the like. It’d be just great if we could get another good supporter along the line.”

Jackson would not be drawn on whether Tuvalu could return to Flemington later in the year for the Group 1 Champions Mile on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

“I’ll leave that to the brains of the operation, Lindsey, who will be sitting at home making a plan, but I do know that he’ll go for a rest now,” Jackson said.

“The horse is still developing. Wellsy had a look at him pre-race and he said, ‘gee, isn’t he going to be a nice horse in another bit of time’.

“He’s growing and strengthening, but we’ll take it step by step.”

Fry was not concerned with Tuvalu’s wide draw, confident the four-year-old, who has won seven of his 11 starts, with a further four seconds, was up to the task.

“The horse has got a high cruising speed, so it didn’t worry me to do a little bit of work,” Fry said.

“It got the horse into a really good rhythm, and I was pretty confident a long way out.”

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