Cobra galloped past old foes in the drive then slithered to safety in the $586,000 Oswald 'Ossie' Steele Memorial Cup feature by two lengths at Caymanas Park yesterday.
The time was 1:14.1 minutes for 1,200 metres. From a level break Cobra, ridden by Richard Mairs for trainer Norman Palmer, sat off the pace in mid-pack while Emergence, ridden by Robert Halledeen, and Miracle Recovery, ridden by Delroy Beharie, dictated the early fractions followed by Prince Of Peace with Cobra nestled in fourth. During this time the well supported Only Begotten Son at 2-1 retreated and then disappeared completely out of contention as if hit by a brick wall.
With him out of contention, claiming apprentice Halledeen made a bold move aboard Cobra, who left the 800 metres marker some six lengths adrift, to be only a mere length and a half away third, turning for home.
Cobra was then taken wide for a clear run on the leaders with Emergence still holding on to a slim lead. With about 150 metres remaining Cobra found his best strides and assumed the lead in deep stretch which he never relinquished and went on to chalk up his first consecutive win in his four victories to date.
Emergence, a five-year-old mare who was also in search of consecutive wins, had to be contented with second money as the joint 9-5 second favourite. The 16-1 chance Miracle Recovery held off the determined run of Prince of Peace along the inside running rails for third money.
Not the force of yesteryear, Prince of Peace, the joint 9-5 second favourite ridden by claiming apprentice Jodeien Anderson, had to settle with completing the frame in the field of six.
Owned by MS Stables, Cobra, a five-year-old bay gelding by Alisios out of August Game (Go For Gin) and bred by Dr Paul Wright was winning for the fourth time from 13 career starts and earned $288,300 as the winner's share for earnings of $1,772,150 lifetime.