HEINRICH ON HER WAY TO GROUP ONE SUCCESS
On Saturday veteran six-year-old Ghetto Blaster claimed victory in the first Group race feature of the highly anticipated Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, the $150,000 Group 2 Coca-Cola Amatil Victory Stakes (1200m), at Eagle Farm.
Previously called the Sir Byrne Hart Stakes, the 2010 Victory Stakes saw the odds-on favourite Ghetto Blaster ($3.80) secure a brilliant one and a quarter length win ahead of The Jackal ($4.80), with Albert The Fat ($5) proving he has the fitness for a successful winter campaign after coming from last on the turn to finish third a further three-quarters of a length back.
The winning Lujain gelding is trained by Gold Coast-based mentor Gillian Heinrich, who also took out the race back in 2006 with All Bar One. Heinrich has enjoyed a brilliant start to 2010 after earlier winning the $2million Magic Millions 2YO Classic back in January with her impressive two-year-old Military Rose.
Heinrich’s hopes for a Group 1 win in the winter were further boosted at the Eagle Farm meeting on Saturday when her in-form two-year-old Steel Dragon had a commanding win in the Mount Franklin Handicap (1200m).
The victory was an excellent return to form for Ghetto Blaster, who was having his first race start since placing an unlucky eighth in the Listed Goldmarket Stakes (1300m) back on New Year’s Day.
After sitting just off the pace Ghetto Blaster made his move at the 400m mark moving up on the outside to sit on the back of The Jackal, before charging past his rival for the win.
The other highly favoured runner, Poor Judge ($4), began wonderfully running on the rails after a smart start from barrier one, securing the early lead. But on the straight the Royal Academy gelding faded badly to finish a well-beaten sixth.
Ghetto Blaster and stablemate Steel Dragon were both ridden by champion hoop Stathi Katsidis, who claimed dual Group 1 wins in the autumn aboard Shoot Out in the Randwick Guineas and AJC Australian Derby.
Ghetto Blaster has now won 10 of his 20 career starts for $516,750 in prizemoney and will head towards the Brisbane Group 1 features at the carnival including the BTC Cup (1200m) on May 15, the Doomben 10,000 (1340m) on May 29 and the coveted Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) on June 12.
The other major drawcard at the opening meeting of the carnival on Saturday was the $125,000 Group 3 Gunsynd Classic (1600m) where Sanderson ($21) claimed an upset win ahead of Listen Son ($4.40) and Brave The Way ($3.30F).
Perth’s Belmont racecourse hosted their own thrilling race day where Saturday’s other Group race, the $250,000 Group 3 WA Sires Produce Stakes (1400m), was won by brilliant filly Motion Pictures in her fifth win from seven career starts.
The exciting racing action of the Brisbane winter carnival moves to the esteemed Gold Coast racecourse this weekend with the running of the $300,000 Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) and the $125,000 Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m).
2010 Coca-Cola Amatil Victory Stakes Results:
|Stathi Katsidis||Gillian Heinrich|
|Larry Cassidy||Paul St Vincent|
ALBERT THE FAT
|Damian Browne||Eden Petrie|
|Bobby El-Issa||Steele Ryan|
|Jim Byrne||John P Thompson|
|Chris Munce||Norm Hilton|
|Shane Scriven||Danny J Bougoure|
|Brad Stewart||Gillian Heinrich|
|Glen Colless||Trevor Bailey|
|Jason Holder||Rex Lipp|