|Up and coming sprinter
Rubitano graduated to the top of the racing ranks this afternoon when he scored a dramatic
win in a blanket finish in the Group One Rosemount Estate Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at
In one of the closest finishes ever seen
in a Group One race at Flemington no less than eight horses crossed the line with less
than a length separating the group.
For Brian Mayfield-Smith it was a case as numbers ruling on
the day. The astute trainer had three runners in the race - Rubitano as well as Sudurka
(seventh) and Prince Rubiton (tenth).
Mayfield-Smith said after the race the four-year-old
gelding would "probably head to the paddock" for a well deserved break.
It's been a rapid rise to fame for the son of the Cox Plate
champion Rubiton. Only three runs ago the gelding was beaten as a hot favourite in a Class
6 Handicap at Sandown. Now only six weeks later and two more runs under his belt the
gelding can claim Melbourne's richest sprint race as his for the year 2002.
The remarkable part of the Rubitano
story is the fact the gelding is still in just his first preparation.
"Really he's done a great job. It's been a big ask the
ten starts he's had and he's come through in flying colours," Mayfield-Smith said.
For winning jockey Stephen Baster it was a dream result in
what he classed as a "lucky pick up ride."
"I was originally booked to ride (the South Australian
filly) Regal Kiss but she had a few niggly problems so I then threw my hat into the ring
for the ride on Rubitano," a beaming Baster said.
In a most exciting finish it was Baster and Rubitano
($13-$17) who clung on like miffed terriers to down the classy three-year-old North Boy
($8-$12) and the Sydney visitor Mistegic ($8-$9-$8).
Close to the action at the finish were
the fourth placed deadheaters Desert Sky ($31-$21) and Chong Tong ($4.60-$6-$5 fav).
The win gave Mayfield-Smith his first Group One triumph
with a galloper by Rubiton.
A huge fan of Rubiton, and why shouldn't he be,
Mayfield-Smith said after the race he had trained "about 18 or so" Rubitons and
most were "above average gallopers."
With today's win Mayfield-Smith swept away with the big
sprint double of the Oakleigh Plate and the Newmarket Handicap with different horses.
Today's win by Rubitano followed his stablemate Sudurka's success in the Oakleigh Plate at
Caulfield a fortnight ago.
Sudurka, who ran his usual honest race, had his final start
today and he will be shipped to New Zealand where he will stand at stud alongside
O'Reilly, Danasinga, Centaine and Pins at Gary Chittick's Waikato Stud.
PICS - Quentin