SA: Map on course for crack at cup
By Peter Neall, February 12, 2024 - 4:42 PM

Five-year-old mare The Map has emerged as one of the state`s main hopes of taking out the 3200-metre Adelaide Cup on March 11 after a barnstorming run to win the listed JRA Plate over 2006 metres at Morphettville last Saturday. 
Trained at Murray Bridge by Daniel Clarken and Oopy MacGillivray, the Alpine Edge mare showed that she can handle distance races by winning over 2800 metres at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day last November. 
Giving Lachlan Neindorf the first leg of a running double, The Map ($8) worked herself into last Saturday’s race from last. Her next assignment is likely to be the Group 3 Lord Reims Stakes over 2600 metres on Saturday week. 
Neindorf brought up the second leg of a back-to-back double when Celsius Star ($2.60 favourite) took out a benchmark 90 over 1100 metres. 
The last-start winner gave Phillip Stokes the second leg of a double of his own. 
Stokes had scored earlier with Ironedge ($26) in a no-metro-wins benchmark 70 over 1200 metres. The six-year-old was first up from a spell and having his first start for the stable, with Todd Pannell guiding him home from midfield for a comfortable win.
 Celsius Star has now won races for four stables — Mick Price/Michael Kent junior and Clayton Douglas in Victoria, Ella Clarke in Darwin and Stokes.
Holder closes in
Reigning Adelaide jockeys’ premiership winner Jason Holder boosted his chances of a title defence when he rode the first two winners last Saturday. 
Riding for the Byron Cozamanis stable, Holder scored on Pride of Dubai filly Talisay ($14). a $30,000 yearling purchase who came from worse than midfield to win a 1050-metre two-year-olds’ plate on debut. 
Holder’s second winner was the Andrew Gluyas-trained Wheels ($3 favourite), who raced towards the rear of a six-horse field in the 2500-metre benchmark 72 before gobbling up her rivals and surging clear for a 5¼-length win.
Holder now has 24 Adelaide wins for the season, second to Jake Toeroek on 26.
Talisay’s win was the start of a double for the Cozamanis family. Port Lincoln-based Byron junior won with I’m a Dexstar ($4.40), who was well placed throughout under Rochelle Milnes in the 1600-metre benchmark 76 handicap of 1600 metres, scoring by three-quarters of a length. 
The four-year-old Ambidexter gelding is unbeaten from three starts this campaign.
Fabulous, Farooq
Eight-year-old Frankel gelding Farooq was the toast of Naracoorte last Sunday after coming from the back half of the field under Jacob Opperman to win the Minijumbuk Naracoorte Cup (2000m) for the local stable of Sue Murphy.
Farooq ($14) charged home to win by three lengths, improving his record to 50 starts for 11 wins, 10 minor placings and $407,475.
The blueblood bay, who placed in the listed Geelong Classic of 2018 when trained by Tony McEvoy, won the listed Premier’s Plate (this year run as the JRA Plate) for Murphy on the same weekend last year.
It’s been a good time of year for the family, as Farooq’s half-brother Anaheed won the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes on the second Saturday of February in 2020.
Their dam is Group 1 Sangster Stakes winner Rostova.
Opperman and Dom Tourneur shared the riding honours at Naracoorte with a double apiece.
Opperman’s first winner was the Andrew Bobbin-trained Chiq Magnet ($3.80) in a 1430-metre maiden plate.
Tourneur rode the bookends, winning on the Belinda O’Loughlin-prepared Nankeen ($4.80) in a 1000-metre maiden and the Pat McKenna-trained Cranc ($10) in a benchmark 66 over 1200 metres.


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