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12/06/02 Saturday Racing Review

Brisbane was the place to be for the top class racing last weekend for the feature weekend of racing in Queensland. With the Stradbroke Handicap, Queensland Derby, Brisbane Cup and The TJ Smith, Eagle Farm was the scene for Group One racing at its best.

Saturday was a day most Queenslanders won’t forget for a long, long time. Their two pin-up horses Show a Heart and Falvelon were clashing against some of the country’s best in the million dollar Stradbroke. Their respective trainers, Barry Miller and Danny Bougoure, were more hopeful than confident. The two had things against them. Show a Heart, as is customary, drew closer to the car park than the rail, and Falvelon was not suited as the track wasn’t as dry as connections had earlier hoped. But remember class is always a great way to re-enhance your chances.

Before the two local heroes could go head to head it was time to find a potential spring top liner with the running of The Queensland Derby for the three-year-olds. What was expected to be a clash between the smart kiwi Distinctly Secret and the filly Galroof wasn’t to be as a Sydneysider stole the show.

Although kept safe in the market, and as expected shorter priced in his home state, the Max Lees trained County Tyrone scored what was described as a mini-upset.

A winner at his past two starts back in the harbour city, Country Tyrone wasn’t being referred to in the same breath as Distinctly Secret. But on race day and with a better run he was declared the winner, proving a touch too good for Galroof, who was given a lovely run by Damien Oliver.

County Tyrone, a son of the former outstanding galloper Danewin, extended a great season for the Sydney based hoop Corey Brown. Brown is one of three riders, along with Darren Beadman and Chris Munce, who are having a great battle for this season’s riding honours in Sydney.

The scene was now set for the race most of the crowd had come to see – the 2002 edition of the $1 million Stradbroke Handicap, sponsored by perennial big race supporters AAMI. The field was chock full of class, from top to bottom it held a top class field.

When the gates opened at a tick after four the capacity field of 20 runners began their 1400 metre journey for one of Australian racing’s richest prizes.

The field rounded the famous home turn at Eagle Farm and at that point there were more in the field with a chance of winning than not. And with such a high quality field engaged the hopes of a blanket finish would be shortly realised.

Locals were split. Falvelon had become a local champion after back to back wins in the Hong Kong International Sprint at Sha Tin in 2000 and 2001, and a race he is being set for again this December. Show a Heart, a Group One winner during every season of his career was having his final start before retiring to stud.

Oh my goodness – the promoters dream had come true. In a blanket finish the two local heroes had come together and for the final 50 metres they went stride for stride, both jockeys desperate to get their charge to the post first.

But as if the race was scripted for a fairytale the chestnut entire, the younger of the pair, Show a Heart scored a memorable victory over the international star Falvelon.

Barrier twenty two (19 after the scratchings) couldn’t stop him and neither could 19 high class rivals. At his very last start Show a Heart had scored his greatest triumph.

The chiefs of Glenlogan Park, one of Queensland’s leading thoroughbred studs, must have been rubbing their hands together when the horses flashed past the post. Show a Heart will be standing at Glenlogan Park this season, while in twelve months time he will be joined by Falvelon! Then the two will be set for another battle – the battle to be the king of Glenlogan Park.

While the main attention at Eagle Farm was focussed on the Straddy and the Derby, there were some other performances on the support card worth a mention.

In form Gold Coast based trainer Alan Bailey saddled up Flying Sparks to win the listed Japan Trophy (2218m), finding the class drop from the Group One Doomben Cup a great advantage on Saturday. The performance of the runner-up Lottery Prize was excellent. The gelding is being set for the country cups circuit and he’ll prove mighty hard to beat out there. Consistent performer Sailor’s Lark was a handy third.

The Bob Milligan and Brad Pengelly love affair continued in the final race when A Deena survived to a protest to win the eighth. But Pengelly wasn’t quite as pleased after leaving the stewards room. He was outed for careless riding – one of eleven over the weekend.

Fairytale result: Show a Heart
Horses to follow: Proudly Agro, Jeune’s Jester, Lottery Prize, General Minolta.
Ride of the day: Damien Oliver (Galroof in defeat)
Spring carnival pointers: Lester Thunderwing, La Serenade.


Flemington was the venue for Melbourne’s metropolitan meeting on Saturday where the feature event was snatched by a South Australian visitor.

Already rocked with both SA AFL teams in the top three on the premiership table, Melbournians were nearly feeling ill after two of the three SA runners in the field placed in the AR Creswick Stakes, a listed event.

The Mark Minervini trained Savage Attack, thanks to a remarkable ride from Nash Rawiller, proved he was the best horse in the race and a spring carnival proposition by proving too strong on the line for the local Lewinsky. Another SA galloper Raja Lane ran a handy third. Oh So Discreet, the third Adelaide galloper, again had little luck and should be followed – a win is close.

Training honours for the day were shared between Michael Moroney and Peter Moody, both preparing doubles, although neither was on course.

Moody’s pair of winners were the smart youngster Ain’t Here and the handy entire Eric, while Moroney’s colours were carried to victory by both Enthous and The Big Ask in the last two races.

Ride of the day: Nash Rawiller (Savage Attack)
Spring carnival pointers: Savage Attack,
Never again: Paradiddle, Summer Rule.
Horses to follow: Oh So Discreet, The Big Ask, Regal Royal, Old Man.
Unlucky: Oh So Discreet, Sylvan Heights.


Randwick hosted a handy race day, with no exceptional stand outs. The country cash races for the rural visitors provided an interesting mix to the card, with form from right around the state.

Stormcat Academy couldn’t have been any more impressive in its top class win in one of the country cash races. After striking trouble and unable to get a run from a period in the home straight Lenny Beasley used his head and angled the gelding across the heels to the outside of the field where he got room and then responded in great style. The gelding is putting it all together and if he keeps improving then a minor race around carnival time isn’t without a chance.

The Moruya filly Ancient Song, already a Group Two winner of the Light Fingers Stakes, returned to the track in great style with a win in the listed June Stakes, the feature event of the program. Calming only needed a little bit further and she would have followed up her listed win in Adelaide with another stakes success.

The award for the scratching of the day must go to Don Robb, a Wyong based trainer who scratched his filly Powder Burn to send her to the city meeting at Randwick. Despite starting at massive odds the daughter of Bite the Bullet proved too good, breaking her maiden status in great style with James Innes in the saddle. Despite carrying a big weight Allez France was disappointing in the same event.

Brent Stanley was at his best rating the Gai Waterhouse trained gelding Telescopic perfectly in front, running clear of his rivals and breaking their hearts in the process. Stanley has been somewhat in the wilderness since winning the Caulfield Cup (Arctic Scent) as an apprentice, and it was great to see him get back into the winner’s stall in style. Let’s hope Gai watched the race and gives him a chance in the spring. Although you could imagine Cassidy, Munce and York might have something to say about that.

Speaking about Cassidy, the "Pumper" is getting close to a return to the track. The unflappable hoop has been back riding work and his body is holding up well. Ring a ding ding!

Darren Beadman has extended his lead in the race for the jockey’s premiership. With Corey Brown in Brisbane and Chris Munce still out suspended Beadman had the chance to set up a bit of a break on his rivals and he did inch clear ever so slightly. All three are very backable at present as they are all desperate to win the title. Beadman is now the favourite but I wouldn’t give up on Corey Brown, he’s riding in the best form of his career.

Ride of the day: Lenny Beasley (Stormcat Academy).
Spring carnival pointers: Stormcat Academy, Ancient Song, Fleet Harriet.
Never again: Notoire, Mr. Royston.
Horses to follow: Stormcat Academy, Sir Dan, Cognac Trader.
Unlucky: Calming.


In Adelaide a tidy program was held at Cheltenham in that city’s west and Brian Mueller provided a unique double thanks to the wins of Risky Lass and Ottobello. Both horses are owned, bred and trained in the same interests and are both out of the Oenjay Star mare Olivia’s Delight.

Promising young Strathalbyn based apprentice Matthew Neilson kicked off his city riding career when he rode a winner at just his second meeting with the metro licence. The way came thanks to the Daniel Clarken trained roughie Demondo, who before Saturday was a maiden galloper.

Showgazer followed up his strong Mount Gambier Cup placing with a strong win in the distance race on the day. His trainer Dick Coote was cheering loudly from the remote SA country town of Maree – where picnic races were taking place.

Gawler based trainer Ron Campbell won’t be zipping Saturday’s hurdle winner Voodoo Sunset over the border for the feature jumping events. Thinking his gelding is a year off his best Campbell instead will continue through the Over the Rainbow jumping series in South Australia.

Ride of the day: Steven Pateman (Voodoo Sunset).
Horses to follow: Risky Lass, Mighty Raja, Iota of Luck.
Spring carnival pointers: Romilada, Impulsive Reality.
Never again: Saturday Fever.


The feature event in Perth was the Lindsay Rosenthal Stakes, a listed for two-year-olds and the good money was for The Right Money, a colt by Magic of Money. The Andrews trained colt proven too strong to down Turn to Dream and Gambace.

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