Chris Waller-trained Instrumentalist has produced a brilliant finish to win the 2014 Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) from the well-back five-year-old Travolta and a strong finishing Macedonian.
With immediate entry into the 2014 Group 1 Caulfield Cup in October featuring as the race’s biggest prize, clear favourite Prince Of Penzance traded the lead with Laidback Larry and He’s Your Man early, appearing to have the result sewn up before fading in the final 100m and allowing Instrumentalist and Travolta to take up the lead and sustain ahead of the fast-finishing $151 outsider Macedonian.
Representative of Chris Waller’s stables Justine Hales was quick to praise the efforts of both jockey and horse, adding a well-deserved spell is now on the cards for the classy son of Amadeus Wolf before a spring campaign tailored toward the Caulfield Cup.
“Craig rode him brilliantly” Hales told the media after the win.
“He waited, he didn’t take off too early, he got calm to the race and he knew the horse was honest.
“He doesn’t look brilliant, he doesn’t sprint away from them or anything, but he just grinds and he has that power to get ahead of them.
“I think he deserves a spell now, he’s had a pretty big prep.”
Having never partnered the five-year-old previously, Craig Newitt delivered a sensational ride, allowing pre-post favourite Prince Of Penzance to take up the speed in the final straight before finding and maintaining a strong sprint in the final 200m to finish a nose in the positive.
Newitt revealed that, while not offering the class and brilliance some of the country’s leading mounts, Instrumentalist always finds a way to be competitive at the right moments.
“All he wanted to do the whole race was just go to sleep and relax” Newitt said following the triumph.
“When they bunched up he just kept picking up underneath me and he got to the outside, quickened and just sustained at the line.
“When you’re riding him he just feels like an average animal, but he’s got a big ticker and a big set of lungs and he just keeps running.”
Having now claimed four victories and three minors in ten starts this preparation, Instrumentalist will be aiming to surpass the 2103 efforts of Tuscan Fire, who followed up a victory in the Mornington Cup with a disappointing 12th behind Fawkner in the 2013 Caulfield Cup.
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2014 Mornington Cup Results
|1||8||INSTRUMENTALIST (IRE)||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||–||4||54kg||$16|
|2||1||TRAVOLTA (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||0.2L||12||60kg||$8|
|3||9||MACEDONIAN (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Jason Benbow||0.4L||2||54kg||$101|
|4||2||PRINCE OF PENZANCE (NZ)||Darren Weir||Ms Michelle Payne||0.7L||3||55kg||$3F|
|5||5||GOTTINO (NZ)||Dan O’Sullivan||Ryan Maloney||0.8L||10||54kg||$41|
|6||11||ANGOLA||Pat Carey||Chris Symons||0.9L||11||54kg||$21|
|7||4||COOLDINI||Robert Smerdon||Glen Boss||2.9L||8||54kg||$7.50|
|8||7||DURNFORD||Pat Carey||Damian Lane||4.4L||5||54kg||$31|
|9||12||ALTONIO (NZ)||Pat Carey||James Winks||5.65L||1||54kg (cd 54.5kg)||$101|
|10||10||LAIDBACK LARRY (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Damien Oliver||7.9L||7||54kg (cd 54.5kg)||$4.40|
|11||3||OREGON SPIRIT||Peter G Moody||Daniel Stackhouse||9.4L||6||54.5kg||$18|
|12||6||HE’S YOUR MAN (FR)||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||13.65L||9||54kg||$7.50|