Veteran David Payne-trained galloper Centennial Park relished the right track conditions at Flemington Racecourse this afternoon taking out the last on Newmarket Handicap Day with a brave win in the Super Saturday Stakes 2013.
The Thorn Park seven-year-old was a good first-up third in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at the track early last month but failed to produce the same kind of run last start in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) here when hampered by a Heavy (9) track.
Today’s ground was spot on for the ageing miler however and Centennial Park was able to win their first race since the 2011 Expressway Stakes two years ago in the $120,000 Listed Super Saturday Stakes (1400m).
The early pace in the race was set by Shelia’s Star over eventual second placed Reset mare Star Of Giselle, last-start winner of the Group 3 Mannerism Stakes at Caulfield over this distance, ridden by Craig Williams looking for his fifth winner of the day.
The well-backed favourite British General meanwhile was third on the outside.
Jockey Noel Callow also pulled Centennial Park out wide as they made their move over the last stages getting there by a narrow margin.
On the line Centennial Park ($7.50) had a half-length over the locally-trained runner-up Star Of Giselle ($5.50) while the $3.40 favourite British General, with Glen Boss aboard, was a brave third just a further short half head away after coming on fast having sat three wide for the best part of the race.
It was also a courageous effort from the fourth placed Goldoni who knuckled at the start, dropped back to last but still managed to storm home for a slashing finish.
As for the winner Payne had picked this race for them ruling out the Sydney features of Chipping Norton Stakes Day, a winning decision from the trainer.
“He’s had his problems over the years but we picked the right race today,” he said.
“I thought this could be the one, I’ve bought him out about three times and he loves this track.
“He can’t have it too hard and he hates the mud.
“And he had a very good rider.”
That very good rider last partnered Centennial Park for their devastatingly close second to the Chris Waller-trained Danleigh, third in the 2013 edition of the same race, in the Chipping Norton Stakes at Warwick Farm two years ago.
“I rode this horse last time in the chipping Norton two years ago,” Callow said.
“Nice to get back on him and win – happy days.
“Being a seven-year-old he’s a bit of an old warhorse.
“But I said he I knew he had one more in him.
“It was good.”
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2013 Super Saturday Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 9 – 09/03/2013
|1||3||CENTENNIAL PARK (NZ)||David Payne||Noel Callow||–||6||56.5kg||$7.50|
|2||5||STAR OF GISELLE||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Craig Williams||0.5L||5||55.5kg||$5.50|
|3||10||BRITISH GENERAL||Dan O’Sullivan||Glen Boss||0.6L||7||54kg||$3.40F|
|4||11||GOLDONI (IRE)||David Hayes||Brett Prebble||2.85L||8||54kg||$9|
|5||6||SHOUT OUT LOUD||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||3.05L||2||55kg||$21|
|6||9||SHEILA’S STAR||Mick Price||Dwayne Dunn||4.8L||1||54kg||$6|
|7||2||SANAGAS (GER)||Bart Cummings||Steven Arnold||5L||4||59kg||$61|
|8||7||SHANGHAI WARRIOR||Pat Hyland||Michael Rodd||5.75L||3||54.5kg||$7|
|–||1||FAWKNER||Robert Hickmott||Nicholas Hall||–||0||–||–|
|–||4||CHASE THE RAINBOW||Rick Hore-Lacy||Craig Newitt||–||0||–||–|
|–||8||CUBAN SUNDAY||Pat Carey||Damian Lane||–||0||–||–|