Another big crowd was on hand to see the Jamie Edwards-trained Prince Ziggy victorious in the $85,000 Ladbrokes Stony Creek Cup (2100m) on Sunday.
Beautifully ridden by veteran hoop Craig Robertson, Prince Ziggy ($2.70) proved a little too strong for the gallant Brigadier ($81) and Noumea ($41), in an on-pacers’ affair. Heavily backed favourite Mr Monaco ($2.10) finished fourth.
Originally listed as an emergency, Prince Ziggy sneaked into the field after scratchings to score his sixth win from 18 starts this preparation, with two city wins and a prizemoney haul of $210,000.
Angela Bence won the Wakeful Club strappers’ prize for the cup with her favourite horse, the Cliff Murray-trained Alienated.
It’s been another outstanding season at Stony Creek, which hosts five themed race days a year, between December and cup day in March.
Club CEO Sarah Wolf was delighted with the day,
“It was an outstanding effort to have 500 more patrons on course than last year (the final number was 2553).
” We’ve steadily grown attendance across most of our race days and the fact we’ve ended the season with the cup meeting has been well supported by our patrons.”
Follows of Sale-trained gallopers were treated to a windfall when three of them ran the trifecta in the Meeniyan Hotel BM58 Handicap (1000m) at Stony Creek on Sunday.
Underrated three-year-old gelding I’m Cheeky ($16) led all the way under the urgings of Jye McNeil for veteran trainer Bill Wood, proving too good for Damien “Jack” Walkley’s consistent sprinter Go One Better ($7) and Young Farrelly ($41) for the “mayor of Sale”, Ian Hutchins. The trifecta paid a healthy $3683.70.
Owned and trained by Wood, I’m Cheeky has now won two races, both at Stony Creek, from nine starts, accumulating $38,800. He’s sure to add to that in the coming months with his racing style suited to several of the Gippsland tracks.
Charisma’s a cracker
The star of the Stony Creek season has been the Allison Bennett-trained Mr Charisma, successful on three occasions.
Mr Charisma gave Jye McNeil a double, impressively taking out Sunday’s Danny O’Brien MP BM58 Handicap (2100m).
Raced by Bennett and her father, former Group 1-winning trainer Barry, the six-year-old gelding by Artie Schiller from the home-bred mare Just Jazz It Up now has four wins from 51 starts for $114,120.
Just Jazz it Up is a granddaughter of a smart filly Barry Bennett raced and trained with Winning Post editor Tony Kneebone and Melbourne optometrist Rob Vella.
New Zealand-based clocker Alf Kneebone (Tony’s father) was regarded as a good judge of horses, and sourced a nice filly, working slick times.
As luck would have it all wasn’t well with the filly’s owners, who were in dispute, and a $15,000 offer was quickly accepted.
Kneebone sold a third share in the filly to Vella, then rang successful Moe trainer Bennett. The two men had never met, but Kneebone had noticed that Bennett had a superb strike rate, and by the end of the call Bennett was the one-third owner and new trainer for the filly.
She would step out for the new connections in the spring of 1991. Named (My) Saturn Star, she had been moderately successful winning one of her six starts in New Zealand.
My Saturn Star was just beaten on her Melbourne debut, but quickly established herself as a classy and consistent filly/mare, winning at Moonee Valley and Caulfield on her way to a listed victory in the Zeditave Stakes.
She ran a great second to Roman Senator in the Group 3 Lightning Quality at Eagle Farm and retired in 1993 as the winner of $130,000.
Tragically the valuable and much loved mare died while producing her first foal, a Geiger Counter filly, in September 1995.
The filly would survive and later race as Carla Joy (Carla being My Saturn Star’s stable name). She became a special horse to her owners and they were rapt when she was able to win at Moonee Valley at her debut in December 1998.
Kneebone, Vella and the Bennetts also enjoyed success with Grand National Hurdle winner Enzed and Perth/Adelaide Cup placegetter Sweet Glory.
Two to follow
• Notable Choice — Robbie Griffiths is having a great run at present. Unfortunately, this talented fellow had no luck at Echuca on Sunday. Placed to advantage, he should atone next time.
• Almighty Gold — he was given a gun ride by Jamie Kah at Stony Creek, but the breaks didn’t go this fellow’s way when needed in the straight. A certainty beaten, he wins again very soon.