White Marlin’s Shock First Defeat

Boom galloper White Marlin suffered the first defeat of his career when the Patrick Payne-trained D’Aguilar ran him down in the closing stages to take out the William Newton VC Handicap (2000m) at Pakenham (2000m) on Thursday.

In a shock to punters, White Marlin ($1.24) couldn’t stave off the challenge of D’Aguilar ($14) in the race, which was moved from Flemington after Tuesday’s ANZAC Day meeting was called off.

Going into the race White Marlin was pre-post Melbourne Cup favourite with Sportsbet at $8, having won his first six starts, including two in his native Ireland before he joined the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott stable.

Jordan Childs, who rode him to win first-up in the Easter Cup at Sandown, took him to the front at Pakenham from the outset of the race and he led clearly over Earlswood.

Before the turn, John Allen on Earlswood put pressure on White Marlin, which he fended off with 200m to go, but then he faced a further challenge from D’Aguilar.

White Marlin fought on well but went down by a head to D’Aguilar, with Aberfeldie Boy ($16) running on well for third, two-and-three-quarter lengths away.

D’Aguilar’s jockey Michael Dee said the race panned out well for them.

“I was a little bit concerned that I didn’t have cover down the back as that breeze was strong. That was a great effort to pick himself up and he was strong to the line,” Dee said.

“He looked like a smart horse last time in. He’s taken a couple of runs this campaign and hopefully he can keep on improving.”

D’Aguilar took his record to seven wins from 14 starts with the victory.

– racing.com

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