Veteran pacer produces another special sprint to win 10th race at HQ

Veteran sit and sprint specialist Triple Eight staked a claim for warming his ageing bones in the Queensland sunshine when he outsprinted his rivals in the Lazarus Free For All at Melton on Saturday night.


Greg Sugars made full use of a rare front row draw and managed to slot the nine- year- old into the one out one back trail chasing the leader and $1.95 favorite Curly James.

Curly James and Hellavu appeared set to fight out the finish half way down the home straight when Triple Eight ($8) unleashed his trademark powerful finale and scored running away by two metres from Hellavu in a mile rate of 1:53.

Sugars said he decided to roll the dice and ask Triple Eight for an early effort to secure a forward position.

"It's been a very long time since he's had a semi decent front row draw so we had to chance our arm at the start and make the most of that, "Sugars said.

"He hadn't done that for a long time so there was a little question mark as I could see we were going to get a good run in transit doing that, but whether he could still finish off just as good after doing that little bit of work early but thankfully he did," he said.

Sugars admitted the son of American Ideal appeared to be headed for the retirement paddock late last year.

"He's a nine-year-old and 130 odd starts now and I have to say he's going as good as we've had him over the past two or three months which is surprising as about six months ago we thought he was really struggling and getting close to retirement," he said.

"He's really resurrected himself."

Two years ago Triple Eight took out the Group 3 Mr Feelgood Open Pace before finishing fifth behind Majestic Cruiser in the Group 1 Blacks A Fake during the Queensland Constellations.

The win was Triple Eight's 25th race track success and took his stake earnings to more than $815,000.