|Leading Melbourne jockey Stephen Baster completed
the big Christmas sprinting double when he scored a surprise win aboard Let's Planet in
yesterday's $151,000 Standish Handicap at Flemington.
took the first of the feature double at Caulfield on Boxing Day aboard the Mick Price
trained Intelligent Star, but yesterday he denied Price the double when he comfortably
held out the gutsy Chattanooga.
Connections of the winning galloper were praise for Baster's
ride, which seen the talented hoop have the gelding in the ruck before bursting clear to
establish a winning break.
"It was really Baster at his best. He was able to give
him (Let's Planet) a good run during the race and that went a long way to winning
it," stable foreman Nigel Sutcliffe said.
With trainer Michael Moroney in New Zealand for the huge
summer carnival at Ellerslie, Sutcliffe was left in charge to saddle up the underrated
gelding. After the race he suggested the winner could be bound for a trip over the Tasman.
"We could send him over to New Zealand for a race like
the Group One Telegraph Handicap at Trentham," Sutcliffe said.
"He ran in the race last year and finished unplaced, but
he is a much better horse this year. A race like the Telegraph should suit him," he
A recent stakesmoney increase in South Australia could see
that state snare the sprinter over the Adelaide Cup Carnival.
"Futher down the track you would think he would be
suited in a race like the Goodwood (Handicap) in Adelaide," Sutcliffe added.
A beaming Baster said after the race the gelding must have
been brought into calculations for the race after his last start effort, when fifth to
Intelligent Star in the Christmas Stakes at Caulfield.
"His effort at Caulfield was very good. He didn't have
the best of luck there and I thought he was a good chance today," Baster said moments
Baster was full of praise for the effort of Let's Planet over
the concluding stages of the 1200 metre race.
"One of the most pleasing aspects of the win was the way
he finished the race off. He was really strong to the line," he said.
"We got a lovely run just in behind the pace and the
split came at about the 500 metre mark which turned out perfect," Baster concluded.
Chattanooga the last start winner of the listed Kevin
Heffernan Stakes at Sandown on November 11, rattled home over the final 200 metres to grab
second place just ahead of Generalissimo.
Generalissimo looked as though he was going to swamp the
entire field when he ranged up on the outside with about 400 metres to run but his quick
surge couldn't be sustained he was eventually passed in the final few strides by
The race favourite Prince Rubiton ($2-$2.60-$2.35) was handy
to the leaders toward the centre of the track during the race but was unable to finish the
race off as well as hoped for the favourite's backers. He ended up dead heating with
another well backed runner Bomber Bill for sixth.
Nash Rawiller, who was riding the Brian Mayfield-Smith
trained galloper, told connections the son of Rubiton failed to handle the conditions.
Persistent rain had fallen on the Flemington track for the
preceeding hour creating when some riders described as a slippery surface.
PIC - Quentin