The Gordon Richards stable’s best sprinter, Benz, returned to his form of yesteryear with a win in last Saturday’s listed City of Marion Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville last Saturday.
After taking the Group 3 Zeditave Stakes as a three-year-old at Caulfield in February 2017, Benz had a record of six wins from 10 starts.
Nineteen straight defeats followed, and the six-year-old was sent out an easing $16 chance for the City of Marion, where he turned back the clock by storming home from near last to the delight of Richards.
The win capped a memorable week for the gelding’s rider, Kayla Crowther, as she’d been crowned Dux of the SA Apprentice Academy the previous Monday and had ridden the last two winners at Port Lincoln on the Friday — the David Jolly-trained Bajan and the Des Courtney-trained Neva Doubt Us.
Crowther completed a good three days in the saddle when she joined forces with trainer Phillip Stokes in the win of Shamino in a benchmark 64 handicap at Murray Bridge on Sunday.
Another good run in the City of Marion Stakes came from the runner-up, Nipperkin ($11), who also came from a rearward position.
Trainer Barry Brook said the mare would next contest the listed $100,000 Christmas Handicap (1200m) on December 21.
More joy for Jason
Jason Holder continued his charge towards the top of the city jockeys’ premiership with a double last Saturday.
Combining with Victorian trainer Anthony Freedman, Holder landed his first winner when Ridgewood Drive ($1.75 favourite) came from last to win the 2000-metre benchmark 80.
Joining forces with Murray Bridge-based Grant Young, Holder completed his double on four-year-old Good Journey gelding Exalted Trail ($4.40) in the benchmark 70 over 1200 metres.
Holder is now on 13 wins for the Adelaide season. He is fourth on the table, nine behind leader Todd Pannell, whose only winner last Saturday was the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained first-starter Unstoppabelle ($4) in the two-year-old plate over 1050 metres.
Holder was again in top form at Murray Bridge on Sunday with a treble. His winners were the Phillip Stokes-trained Flying Arion (who completed a double for Stokes), Redeeka for Mount Gambier trainer Jamie Opperman and Ice Ghost in the benchmark 75 Christmas Cup (1400m) for Gordon Richards.
Gary Lo was the leading apprentice at Morphettville last Saturday with a double. He kicked off with a winner for his master, Phillip Stokes, when Holy Dancer ($4.60) landed her second straight city success in the 1600-metre benchmark 64 handicap.
Lo’s second winner was the Shayne Cahill-trained Dexter You Devil ($5), who came from last to win a benchmark 75 handicap over 1600 metres.
Ceduna takes the stage
Ceduna, on the Eyre Peninsula, will conduct the first of its non-TAB meetings for the season this Saturday, featuring the Thevenard Cup (1600m), heat one of the Bill Holland Series. This season’s series is sponsored by Holland’s grandson and champion jockey Kerrin McEvoy.
Jockey Jason Holder and trainer Grant Young took the honours with a double apiece at Gawler on Wednesday.
Holder won on the Travis Doudle-trained Ethical Solution ($1.30 favourite) in the 1200-metre maiden and the Young-trained Exalted Dee ($3.20 favourite) in the benchmark 60 over 1719 metres.
Celebrating his 20th wedding anniversary, Young completed his double when Diamonds Are ($4 equal favourite) won a benchmark 64 over 1516 metres with Ryan Hurdle aboard.