Punters at Monday’s Benalla meeting were rocked in the third race on the card when odds-on favourite Right You Are was scratched at the barrier – three minutes after the advertised start time.
Ironically, We Want Frankie, a 14-start maiden who also had to be vet checked at the barrier after playing up in the mounting yard and striking the gate on his way out to the course, went on to win the race.
It was still being fractious for its rider while waiting to be loaded into its gate.
But even its backers took a pounding.
As it crossed the line its Supertab payout should have been $5.70 and $1.60 but by the time deductions were made that crashed to $2.70 and $1.20.
The course commentator said Right You Are was carrying more than half the money bet on the race when it was ruled out.
At one point all the horses were set for a start when Afrikaans broke through the front of its stall and ran onto the course for a short distance.
Although nowhere near the favourite, Right You Are appeared to go down in its gate with the rider Zac Spain quickly jumping clear.
Spain had won the previous race – the $23,000 Techwool Trading Plate over 1606m on La Bella Epoque and looked every chance of a winning double until his horse was withdrawn.
But he quickly recovered in the fourth – the $23,000 Royal Hotel Benalla Plate over 1206m – steering Uncovered Beauty to victory for a delayed double.
And Benalla trainers left it to the last of the day – the $22,000 CUB Handicap over 1006m before they picked up their first win.
Jockey Ethan Brown rode Russell Osborne’s Fearless Falcon to record its third win in a row, by three-quarters of a length – with Zac Spain doing everything he could on second placed Sing Oh Danny Boy to try and complete the treble he might have had earlier in the day.
After the race Osborne said early on in the horse’s career he had thought there was real potential in the now six-year-old mare.
But said once it had reached 28 starts without a win he had pretty well summed up it was going nowhere in a hurry.
“Now, it has been quite an amazing journey this one,” he agreed.
“The interesting thing is that in all three wins she has come to the outside and powered home so I think we’ll have to adopt that style of racing and hope her races are run to suit.”
Fearless Falcon broke her maiden at Wodonga, backed that up at Tatura and then Monday at her home track. And Osborne has become something of a last-gasp specialist at his own track.
He won the 10th on cup day – September 27 – with If You Will and the same pairing took out the lucky last at Benalla on October 28 before Fearless Falcon made it three with her win in the eighth.