A brilliant late finishing burst up the inside rail of the Kensington circuit saw Obvious Step (by Sidestep) score her first career victory at the midweek metropolitan meeting staged in Sydney.
First emergency for the $50,000 ATC Grunt Standing at Yulong Handicap (1150m), Obvious Step was settled at the tail of the field shortly after jumping and was still a clear last on the point of the home turn.
Come the sprint to the finishing line in the home straight, race rider Jean Van Overmeire took the shortest route home with the David Payne-trained daughter of Sidestep before overhauling $4.20 favourite Giovanna Run (by Press Statement) close to the line.
Obvious Step and Giovanna Run eventually dominated the final 200 metres of the contest, coming away from their rivals by three clear lengths and with just a neck separated the two on the line.
Obvious Step started the race as a $9.00 chance after two 'back-in-the-field’ efforts at Kembla Grange and Hawkesbury, though hadn't finished too far away from the respective winner on either occasion.
Nonetheless, her victory was a big stride forward in her career and showed distinct promise for assignments over further distances during her upcoming 3-year-old campaign.
The same can be said of the runner-up Giovanna Run, who's pedigree features the 'Hula' ancestry of 1996 The Metropolitan (G1) winner Hula Flight.
A surprise scratching from last week's Sydney metropolitan meeting at Canterbury Park, the Richard and Michael Freedman-trained Gunnamatta (by Headwater) made amends when landing the $50,000 Yes Yes Yes @ Coolmore Australia Handicap (1150m) on the same Kensington program.
A promising second on debut at Warwick Farm at the beginning of last month, Gunnamatta went one better when managing to run down Jimmy's Dream (by Not a Single Doubt) close to the line to score by a short-neck.
In a slowly run affair, Gunnamatta and Jimmy's Dream stayed in close contention of a reluctant leader in the form of Sharpshooter during the early stages and proved too strong for the latter in the straight.
Game Royal made good late progress over the final stages for an eye-catching fourth on debut.
Gunnamatta was returned a $5.00 third favourite. Runner-up Jimmy's Dream went to post the $3.20 favourite.
The victories of Obvious Step and Gunnamatta were recorded over the same course and distance just 35 minutes apart. Significantly, the overall time and final 600m sectional time of the fillies' event won by Obvious Step were markedly the better in both instances.
Grunt Standing at Yulong Handicap
Yes Yes at Coolmore, photo pictures ATV