THE old racing adage about horses not knowing their odds rang true for Bendigo trainer Rod Symons and Perfect War at Swan Hill on Monday.
Part-owned by Symons, the five-year-old mare staged a massive form reversal to win for the first time in 537 days.
She did so at odds of more than 100-1.
Perfect War, ridden by in-form jockey Will Gordon, defied her record of 13 starts since her last win at Bendigo in April last year, coming from near last on the home turn to storm down the outside for a dominant two-length win.
By any measure a shock win, Symons pointed to some indications of an improved performance being on the cards for Perfect War, who eventually paid $119.30 on the Tote.
"My track rider said she was going really well, my farrier said she's feeling enormous and Will Gordon can ride anything at the moment," he said.
"It was a late pick-up ride too. I actually asked about four jockeys to ride this horse and I only picked up Will this morning (Monday) - he answered his phone.
"He's helped me out in the past, so I'm happy to put him on. He's flying.
"He did everything that we asked, he settled out the back.
"Last start, (jockey) Dean Holland suggested we should have a change of gear, so we put some winkers on her. She used to overrace.
"I said to Will settle back and she should be able to sweep around them. There was plenty of pace in front and he did exactly that."
Monday's win was just the second in 18 starts for Perfect War, who showed early promise in her career, following a second at her third start at Swan Hill with a win at Bendigo in her fourth.
"She did have a bit of form early in her career, but she used to do a few things wrong and running on the wet tracks, she didn't like those," Symons said.
"It's good to see the (owners) have stuck with her.
"I have had to take a share or two to help out."
It was Symons' second winner from his last three runners following a victory by Play With Words at Tatura on September 18.
The win continued a purple patch for Gordon, who rode four winners at last Friday's meeting at Coleraine, and was only too glad to pick up the ride on Perfect War when it was offered to hm on race morning.
"The horses don't know their odds, so (the win) is a bonus," he said.
"She was good. I did exactly as Rod said. I sat her out the back and she settled lovely.
"I had one (horse) outside me four-deep and I just elected to come back and let her swoop around him.
"As soon as I asked her for an effort around the 400m and I felt her surge up underneath me, I thought she is going to take a bit of catching if she carries on with it.
"I think she saved a bit for herself at the end there too, so it was a dominant win.
"It was a great job by Rod and the team and luckily I answered the phone this morning and picked up the ride."
My track rider said she was going really well, my farrier said she's feeling enormous and Will Gordon can ride anything at the moment.Rod Symons
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