AN UNFLATTERING record was established in Melton last night.
Finishing with a strong sprint, Act Now upstaged his more fancied rivals to capture the prestigious Victoria Cup.
Driven to perfection by Jodi Quinlan, the son of Somebeachsomewhere scored at the massive odds of $81 on the Tote.
Act Now’s price smashed the previous record for an outsider winning the Grand Circuit event.
Former classy pacer Breenys Fella held that ‘privilege’ by paying $51.70 at Moonee Valley in 2000.
Ironically, Breenys Fella was reined by Quinlan’s partner, Craig Demmler.
The next ‘best’ is Caribbean Blaster which scored at $30.40 in 2012.
“Lucky for him, he doesn’t know the odds and wasn’t supposed to win,” Quinlan said. “He felt super the whole way and when I asked him to go at the top of the home straight he really motored.”
Reaching in the lead in the last straight, Act Now won by a head from Catch A Wave, which also produced a phenomenal sprint after travelling at the tail of the field for the majority of the $300,000 major.
After working overtime in the ‘death seat’, Leap To Fame was a gallant third when another head away.
Trained by premier horsewoman Emma Stewart, Act Now’s triumph capped off an eventful state of affairs with the five-year-old, which was in danger of being scratched just minutes before starting time.
“It was only about 10 minutes before the race we didn’t know whether he was going to run,” Stewart explained. “He had an accident in the stall, but the vets checked him out and said he was fine and the rest is history.
“It could have turned out a lot different, but all’s well that ends well.”
Rating 1:52.7 over 2240 metres, Act Now took his record to 21 wins and 12 placings from 43 starts for earnings of $887,285.