Drawn perfectly in box one for the invitation-only event, Striker Light began on terms, before barging her way along the fence to take the lead around the first turn.
As the field bunched behind her Striker Light shot clear. Slipping into second down the back was first reserve Slick (Dyna Lachlan x Pearl Za Zinger Apr ’15) which set off in pursuit of the leader, however in the run to the line the Brett Bravo-trained Striker Light had too much of a break, defeating her Queensland rival by 0.61 lengths in 30.05.
Race favourite Aston Dee Bee (Barcia Bale x Aston Elle Apr ’15) found trouble, finishing third.
Bravo, who owns Striker Light with his wife Kelly and George Farrugia, was thrilled with her win.
“We’ll drink some beers tonight, woohoo,” Brett said.
“She used the box well. I don’t think she got out that well, but she pushed through. She got an unimpeded run tonight, got a break on them down the back – it was a good run.”
Striker Light has now won 24 races from 45 starts with eight seconds and two thirds. She has now won three races at the highest level, having previously taken out the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg and the Group 1 National Futurity – both at Wentworth Park.
She has now earned connections more than $564,000 throughout her career – averaging $12,541 each time she has faced the starter.
In addition to her big race wins, Striker Light also finished second in the 2017 Group 2 Warrnambool Cup, third in the 2017 Group 1 Sapphire Crown and has been a finalist in the 2017 Group 1 Paws of Thunder, the 2017 Group 1 Temlee, the 2017 Group 1 Adelaide Cup, the 2017 Group 1 Topgun, the 2017 Group 1 Melbourne Cup, the 2017 Group 2 Richmond Oaks, the 2017 Group 2 Bendigo Cup and the 2016 Group 2 Laurels Classic.
“I think she’s been racing against group company since her sixth start,” Bravo said.
“There is no secret she’s not the fastest dog around, but when she leads like that and runs sections she is very hard to catch.”
Her win was particularly impressive given it was just her second ‘500’ since finishing sixth in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup last November.
The bonny bitch was on the sidelines for almost two months after sustaining an injury when winning her heat of the Group 2 Ballarat Cup last December, but she has returned as good as ever having now won three of her four starts back from her break.
Bravo confirmed she will now head towards the heats of the Group 1 Australian Cup at The Meadows next Saturday night, with the final on March 3 worth $250,000 to the winner.
“She’s had a couple of runs back and now won this, so into the Australian Cup now and hopefully we’ll have another good year with her.”
2018 Group 1 Temlee results
1st – Striker Light (1) – Brett Bravo – $5.30
2nd – Slick (3) – John McCarthy – $9.90
3rd – Aston Dee Bee (2) – Seona Thompson – $2.70
4th – Poke The Bear (8) – Seona Thompson – $9.20
5th – Bewildering (4) – Seona Thompson – $7
6th – Raw Ability (5) – Anthony Azzopardi – $6.10
7th – Out Of Range (7) – Seona Thompson – $12.90
8th – Kouta Mayhem (6) – Jason Sharp – $27.70
Margins: 0.61 x 3.7
1st section: 5.07
2nd section: 17.63