On Saturday talented Zabeel mare Jessicabeel secured the highlight race at Randwick when she defeated a classy field of rivals in the $400,000 Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m).
Prepared by local trainer John O’Shea, Jessicabeel began as the $5 favourite and proved herself as a definite stayer as she came from behind to defeat fellow mare and runner-up in the event last year as well, Divine Rebel ($21), by a three-quarter lengths with Harris Tweed ($7.50) a further length away in third finishing off an all New Zealand-bred trifecta.
Jessicabeel, ridden by Craig Newitt, messed up the start and then settled worse than mid-field after the first 1200m with the horse’s connections worried about her back position.
But they had nothing to fear as the mare displayed her brilliant turn of foot on the home straight, working her way up through the field of stayers to secure the Group 1 win.
Anthony Cummings’ highly fancied second-favourite Zavite ($5.50) was the disappointment of the race, beating home just one other runner, the Bart Cummings-trained Precedence ($6.50), as the Cummings’ pair finished 10th and 11th respectively after pushing too hard early on.
Zavite and Precedence held the lead for much of the 3200m but then faded at the finish as the genuine tempo of the race took its toll.
It wasn’t all bad news for Anthony Cummings on the day however, as he still enjoyed Group 1 glory at the meeting when Road To Rock took out the $350,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
Other horses that failed to fire in the 2010 Sydney Cup included last start winner of the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) Littorio, who struggled to step up to the increased distance of the Cup, and 2008 Sydney Cup winner No Wine No Song who finished well back in eighth also stung by the surprising pace of the race.
Four-year-old Jessicabeel, who also took out the Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) this season, has now won five of her 13 race starts for $464,900 in prizemoney.
O’Shea is now obviously looking towards the coveted Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November for Jessicabeel, the 150th running of the esteemed feature worth a record $6 million this year.
Other feature races that played out on the final Sydney autumn carnival meeting on Saturday included the $300,000 Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) where the Peter Snowden-trained Skilled secured a close victory, and the $300,000 Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) won by Hot Danish.
With the excitement of the Sydney autumn carnival now over for another year, the best in Australian racing will now head up to Queensland for the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
2010 Schweppes Sydney Cup Results
|John O’Shea||Craig Newitt|
DIVINE REBEL (NZ)
|Michael Moroney||Kerrin McEvoy|
HARRIS TWEED (NZ)
|M & B Baker||Michael Rodd|
|Patrick Payne||Steven Arnold|
GET UP JUDE
|Diane Poidevin-Laine||Kathy O’Hara|
|Bart Cummings||Blake Shinn|
|Steven Cooper||Nash Rawiller|
NO WINE NO SONG
|Kevin Moses||Hugh Bowman|
|Nigel Blackiston||Craig Williams|
|Anthony Cummings||Damien Oliver|
|Bart Cummings||Luke Nolen|