Progressive galloper Comfysofa is destined for feature-race success after overcoming a sluggish start to win yesterday's $90,000 Mungrup Stud Sprint (1305m) at Mount Barker.
Comfysofa was heavily backed into $2.30 favouritism, attracting one pre-post bet of $15,000 at $2.25 with TAB Sportsbet.
Punters were given a fright when Comfysofa was the last to leave the barriers, but an outstanding ride from jockey Jason Whiting guided the five-year-old to victory.
He ran on powerfully from sixth on the turn to nail pace- setter Rouge Dior ($5), scoring by 3/4 of a length.
Wroughted, strongly backed into $4.60, finished a close-up third despite racing three-wide throughout.
Trainer Simon Miller was thrilled to win the sprint for Mungrup Stud's Gray and Jan Williamson, who bred and retained a share in Comfysofa.
"When he missed the kick I thought he was in trouble," Miller said.
"But Fishy (Whiting) was just a freak and he got the job done.
"I'm over the moon to win it for Gray and Jan."
Miller said Comfysofa would be spelled at Narrikup-based Mungrup Stud before a possible crack at Belmont Park features in the winter.
The Williamsons have sponsored the sprint since 1998 and scored a quinella in the race in 2006 with Metallurgy and Mercury Halo.
They share ownership of Comfysofa with a syndicate headed by Oz Racing's Bruce Saxild.
Miller had Railway Stakes (1600m) aspirations for Comfy- sofa in November, but he was unable to gain a start after running sixth in the RJ Peters Stakes (1500m) the week prior.
Eddie Creighton and Andrew Castle were suspended for 15 and 17 days respectively for careless riding yesterday.
·Leading trainer Adam Durrant has big autumn carnival plans for Crystal Gardens, a brilliant winner of Saturday's Westspeed Handicap (1600m) at Ascot.
Durrant rates Crystal Gardens, who ran on powerfully to beat Kai's Diamond, a top chance for the $250,000 WA Oaks (2400m) in March.
"As the distances progress and they don't sprint as hard, I think this filly is going to keep improving," Durrant said.
"I wouldn't swap her for anything heading towards the Oaks and maybe even the derby."
"When he missed the kick I thought he was in trouble. But Fishy (Whiting) … got the job done.""Comfysofa's trainer *Simon Miller *