Local Caulfield trainer Mick Price claimed an upset victory in one of the major Australia Day Races at Caulfield on Thursday, his promising young grey Instinction taking out the Zeditave Stakes as a $20 roughie to emerge a genuine 2012 Australian Guineas chance this autumn.
Resuming after two and a half month break, Exceed And Excel colt Instinction went out at double-figures in the Luxbet markets for the $100,000 Sportingbet Zeditave Stakes (1200m), but proved one of the value bets of the day.
Ridden by Craig Newitt they were able to beat home a crack field by a minimum one and three quarter lengths, their closest rival being Anthony Freedman’s Caulfield Guineas fourth placegetter Specter ($13).
Finishing off the winning Zeditave Stakes 2012 trifecta just a further neck away third was then John Hyam’s last-start Morphettville winning Lonhro colt Petman ($7) who did well to stay in the placings after setting a strong early pace before shifting out on the turn.
“He (Instinction) was always pretty much in control that race, he just needed to run at the right time,” Newitt said.
“The leader (Petman) shifted just enough for him and he showed a good little turn of foot and he put them away.
“He probably knocked up the last little bit, but he’ll take good benefit from it going forward.”
Disappointments of the race included $5 equal favourites Huegill and Benfica who finished sixth and last (ninth) respectively.
Instinction has now won three of their seven career starts for $166,755 in prize money, their trio of triumphs all coming on the trot as they won back-to-back races at Kyneton and then Flemington respectively before their break.
They are also now a dual stakes winner, the Zeditave Stakes title added to their Listed Hilton Hotels Stakes (1400m) success from Emirates Stakes Day during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Instinction is fast emerging as a genuine autumn racing carnival contender for Price’s operation.
“This time last year we had him in a Blue Diamond Prelude (sixth to Sepoy) and we had a fair opinion of the horse, but he just didn’t quite go on with it,” Price’s foreman Mick Nolan said.
“He came back last time and had a couple of little issues, but this time he’s been 100 percent so I can’t see why he can’t go on from here.”
Should all go to plan Instinction will target elite level glory this season in the $750,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 3.
They are one of three 2012 Australian Guineas nominations for Price along with unbeaten More Than Ready colt Proliferate, last seen winning the Listed Myer Spring Fashion Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on Crown Oaks Day, and Starcraft gelding Secret Hills who finished sixth in the Caulfield Guineas last time out.
Price will be shooting for a third Australian Guineas title this year following his victories with Light Fantastic (2008) and Heart Of Dreams (2009).
Instinction earlier showed their autumn carnival potential when trialing well against the best in the business Black Caviar at Caulfield, an 800-metre hitout that got Newitt’s attention.
“He stood her up 15 lengths and got beat five or six,” Newitt said.
“There’s no better guide than Black Caviar is there?”
“He’s had a few problems but he’s come back really good.”
Newitt, who partnered with Price’s first Australian Guineas winner Light Fantastic, was also quick to name Instinction as a good chance in the upcoming Group 1 feature.
“He’s going to be right on song for it,” he said.
“He’s bred to run a mile and further.
“He’s a bit different to Light Fantastic who was outstanding right from day one.
“This bloke has been handy but he’s improving all the time.”
Australia Day at Caulfield proved to be a great one for Price with Instinction’s win coming just 35 minutes after their previously unraced stablemate Malasun scored a tidy triumph in the $100,000 Listed Blue Diamond Fillies Preview (1000m).
Malasun has since skyrocketed up the 2012 Blue Diamond Stakes odds, the Red Ransom filly now the equal $8 third favourite trailing only Jimando ($5) and Raceway ($5.50) in the Luxbet markets.
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2012 Zeditave Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 5 – 26/01/2012
|1||3||INSTINCTION||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||–||2||57.5kg||$20|
|2||2||SPECTER||Anthony Freedman||Steven Arnold||1.75L||3||57.5kg||$13|
|3||7||PETMAN||John Hyam||Damien Oliver||1.95L||1||55kg||$7|
|4||4||ADAMANTIUM (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Mark Zahra||2.15L||4||56.5kg||$9|
|5||10||UNPRETENTIOUS||Nikki Burke||Craig Williams||2.25L||8||55kg||$9|
|6||6||HUEGILL||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||2.35L||7||55kg||$5EF|
|7||5||MISTER MILTON||Norman Waymouth||Ben Melham||3.35L||9||56kg||$10|
|8||8||PAKARI TOA (NZ)||Mark Kavanagh||Michael Rodd||3.85L||5||55kg||$6.50|
|9||1||BENFICA||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||6.1L||6||58.5kg||$5EF|
|–||9||IT IS WRITTEN||Robbie Griffiths||Glen Boss||–||0||–||–|