James McDonald will be hoping for a quick return...
The progressive Peter Moody-trained Flamberge celebrated their first black type success at Flemington Racecourse on New Year’s Day with an impressive victory in the 2014 Standish Handicap.
Saluting in their second victory from three starts this time in the Exceed And Excel four-year-old is shaping up as a horse to watch this coming Melbourne Festival of Racing.
Stepping up to Group company for the first time, Flamberge had had just the one previous stakes run when second to Sichuan Vigour at the same track in March’s Listed Security Stakes (1100m).
After a first-up win at Caulfield in late November the gelding ran a disappointing fourth in their latest run after an awkward jump and a big weight at Flemington on December 14.
While they were stepping up in class and distance for Wednesday’s $150,000 Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m), they relished a drop back from 57.5kg to 54.5kg to take it out.
Jockey Vlad Duric had the diminutive framed Flamberge settled near the lead before making their run with a devastating burst with 200 metres left to travel.
The David Moodie-owned galloper jumped as a $6 chance and was able to defeat the $4.40 favourite Essay Raider, a Boxing Day winner at home in Adelaide just six days earlier, by two and a quarter lengths.
A further three quarters of a length in third was then the Danny O’Brien-trained Decircles ($7) who also came off a win after scoring over the same course and distance in mid-December, their trainer after another win following that of Blessum (2004).
Moody, celebrating his first win in the New Year’s Day event, had set Flamberge for the Standish Handicap this off-season due to the horse’s liking for the Flemington straight, a move that proved a winning one.
“He is a nice horse and to get a Group 3 is a big thrill,” Moody’s stable representative Zac Lanson said.
Also working in their favour was the rain affected track, rated Dead but likely softer by jump time, which boosted the confidence of Standish Handicap winning jockey Duric.
“It’s great for Pete to kick off the year so well,” Duric told AAP post-win on Wednesday.
“I think the key to him today was that he began well and settled beautifully in the run.
“He had a horse to follow in Decircles and switched off nicely which helped him, and the fact he had a bit of rain played into his favour.
“I looked up his wet track form (two wins from three starts in the wet) and it gave me a boost.”
The full Standish Handicap 2014 results are detailed below with all the upcoming summer racing news to also be published right here at Races.com.au.
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2014 Standish Handicap Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 6 – 01/01/2014
|1||11||FLAMBERGE||Peter G Moody||Vlad Duric||–||5||54kg (cd 54.5kg)||$6|
|2||7||ESSAY RAIDER||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Ms Clare Lindop||2.25L||7||54kg||$4.40F|
|3||6||DECIRCLES||Danny O’Brien||Glen Boss||3L||4||54kg||$7|
|4||9||SOLSAY||Michael Kent||Dean Holland||4.75L||9||54kg||$7.50|
|5||4||BY THE WAY||Mark Lewis||Damian Lane||4.85L||3||54kg||$9.50|
|6||8||MORANT||Damien Williams||Chris Symons||6.6L||10||54kg||$21|
|7||2||SEA LORD||Stephen Brown||Stephen Baster||7.85L||1||54kg||$7.50|
|8||5||CASCABEL||Robbie Griffiths||Craig Newitt||8.6L||6||54kg||$41|
|9||3||ADDICTION TO ROCK||Will Clarken||Chad Schofield (a)||12.6L||2||54kg||$7.50|
|10||1||ETHIOPIA||Pat Carey||Rhys McLeod||13.35L||8||59kg||$61|
|11||10||BELFAST BOY||Gordon Richards||Dean Yendall||14.1L||11||54kg||$15|
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