Go with DaCosta's Dysfunctional
CHAMPION trainer Wayne DaCosta's DYSFUNCTIONAL returns to his favourite hunting ground, overnight allowance, for the third time in five months, a tough horse to beat today after his brave run behind HILLY'S HALO last time out.
DYSFUNCTIONAL ran smack into HILLY'S HALO, the most improved horse in training, who made it four in a row in her steady march to grade one. Whereas HILLY'S HALO's superb performance was expected, posting 1:24.0 for the seven-furlong event, DYSFUNCTIONAL's run, beaten by only two lengths, gaining with 120lb, caused heads to turn .
However, DYSFUNCTIONAL is no stranger to big efforts against better horses. After clinically beating TIMEFORARMS and BIRDIE MY LOVE with topweight at eight and a half furlongs in March, he spent the next three months playing second fiddle to stablemates SEEKING MY DREAM, HOVER CRAFT and MR UNIVERSE.
After being outclassed and outsped in open allowance and grade-one events, DYSFUNCTIONAL was gifted a $1m claiming race in early July. On his return to overnight allowance in August, he ran his usual honest two-turn race, finishing third behind SUPERLUMINAL and DONTAE at 10 furlongs. When he returned three weeks later at a preferred middle-distance trip, he turned the tables on DONTAE behind HILLY'S HALO.
Though he is giving away weight all around to recent winner three-year-old HONEY RYDA and old rival BIRDIE MY LOVE, who was spotted flying home for fourth at five furlongs straight behind last Saturday's upsetter, HOVER CRAFT, DYSFUNCTIONAL has proven himself a master of middle-distance races in overnight allowance.
HONEY RYDA is new to the class and faces a baptism of fire, but BIRDIE MY LOVE, especially with 111lb, getting 14lb from DYSFUNCTIONAL, is a dangerous customer at the handicaps and distance. She, however, likes to dictate the pace, which could prove tricky should speedy SIR BUDGET make the line-up after being scratched lame a week ago.
DaCosta also has three-year-old WITHOUT EXCEPTION in the event, returning off a two-month lay-up, working well and capable of ensuring an honest pace for his more race-fit stablemate, who might need some help to drag BIRDIE MY LOVE off her bridle sooner than her rider would have liked.
The handicaps are against him, but DYSFUNCTIONAL is a pro and only four pounds heavier than his brave run behind HILLY'S HALO, a performance which should land him in the winners' enclosure.