Law Of The Land pulls off upset in final Canberra race meeting of year

Law Of The Land (inside runner) edges out Anything You Touch to win a Benchmark 60 Handicap at Thoroughbred Park on Tuesday. Photo: Jamila Toderas
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Law Of The Land (inside runner) edges out Anything You Touch to win a Benchmark 60 Handicap at Thoroughbred Park on Tuesday. Photo: Jamila Toderas

Law Of The Land (inside runner) edges out Anything You Touch to win a Benchmark 60 Handicap at Thoroughbred Park on Tuesday. Photo: Jamila Toderas

Law Of The Land (inside runner) edges out Anything You Touch to win a Benchmark 60 Handicap at Thoroughbred Park on Tuesday. Photo: Jamila Toderas

The result may have forced Canberra trainer Norm Gardner to change his plans, but he couldn’t care less after Law Of The Land ended his form drought with a fighting victory at Thoroughbred Park on Tuesday.

The $6.30 second elect ran closer to the pace set by raging favourite Because We All Can ($2), and edged out $20 outsider Anything You Touch in a photo finish to claim the Benchmark 60 Handicap over 1400 metres.

Regular front runner Because We All Can tried to pinch a winning lead at the turn, but tired over the closing furlong to finish a distant third, just a fortnight after thrashing his rivals by five lengths at the same track.

Backmarker Law Of The Land gave himself too much work to do when finishing fifth and sixth at Goulburn and Moruya respectively his last two starts, prompting Gardner to give him a long break over the Christmas period.

“I thought we were a good chance today on his home track, he’s travelled every race this race this prep,” Gardner said.

“He did nothing but go on the walker in the lead-up, we raced him a bit closer and it made all the difference.

“We stepped him up in grade, he’s only a little fella but Jeff [Penza] rode him magnificently. We needed the pace on today, I was hoping someone would take the favourite on and keep him honest.

“He was going to go to a class two at Wagga next week, but he can’t now he’s won three. I’ll have to reassess a few things.”

Penza said he felt confident the horse was focused from the start.

“It was a surprise to me he jumped a lot better today and put himself in the race, which was a change from the last two,” Penza said.

“We definitely wanted to keep the favourite in our sights. It probably got a bit too far back in its last few starts and it wasn’t going to win like that today.

“He jumped extra well and wanted to be there, he just went with the flow.”

Penza believes the mile distance will eventually be the horse’s best, given his penchant to warm into his races.

“He probably needs to get over more ground given he picks up over the race, he races well fresh so hopefully they can find the balance there.”

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