DEAD heats have been a popular talking point among racing followers in recent weeks following a few high-profile instances.
On Tuesday, they had plenty more to talk about when the judge was unable to split Cloudy and Seradess in the opening race at Bendigo racecourse.
Cloudy, a two-year-old filly with leading jockey Jamie Kah in the saddle, looked set for victory when she dashed to the front with 150m to travel.
But coming from last on the home turn, Joe Bowditch on Seradess timed his run down the outside to near-perfection, to have the outsider of the field on level terms with the more fancied Cloudy on the post.
The Bendigo Jockey Club could not have scripted a more exciting start to proceedings on its eight-race card..
The dead-heat was the second in four days on a Victorian racecourse, following on from Saturday's cliffhanger in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate between Celebrity Queen, ridden by William Pike, and Portland Sky, who delivered Teo Nugent his first Group 1 success.
Both Kah and Bowditch had felt confident of gaining the judge's nod.
"I thought I had it before the line, but she was just wandering around and needed someone to take her a bit further," said Kah, the clear leader in this season's Victorian jockey's premiership.
"When the leader stopped she just wanted to do a bit wrong.
"But the team placed her lovely today, she's really matured and is maturing with every race.
"She was still a bit fierce last start, but today she was in a really good rhythm and really comfortable.
"A dead-heat is better than nothing.
"If she had something to take her further into the race , I think she wins it a bit easier."
Cloudy, by the US sire Frosted out of Applegate, broke her maiden at start number four for her trainer James Cummings and Godolphin.
A 50-1 chance, Seradess capped an exciting race debut for her trainer Mark Kavanagh and connections, with Bowditch left confident of plenty of improvement with the daughter of Astern and Obsidian Dragon.
"I thought I'd got it there on the line, but they just keep fighting for her (Kah), don't they," Bowditch said.
"I didn't really know what to expect (from Seradess), I know she had jumped out well, but you never know coming to the races the first time and she was very green.
"She had a good look around and took everything in, so I would think that she will improve a lot on that."
Speaking on behalf of his father, Levi Kavanagh, who trained the third placegetter Her Empire, expressed surprise at the long odds on offer for Seradess.
"I think there were a lot of horses spruiked, but that's always the case in a two-year-old race where there is a lot of first starters - I think everyone is keen on their mount," he said.
"She trialled pretty well and we didn't think she was without a chance at all. I'm actually surprised as a few of the guys in her like to have a bit of a bet, so hopefully, they got on at 40s.
"(Her Empire) settled further back than I thought, the same with Seradess as well. They came out well, but settled well back, but they both had barnstorming finishes.
"Seradess was obviously just a bit better today."
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