Ken Sweeney’s local Group 1 performer Riziz scored a dominant three length victory in Saturday’s Spring Stakes 2014 at Morphettville Racecourse in a race where Cox Plate hope Happy Trails ran a first-up fifth in.
Zariz six-year-old Riziz made this year’s $115,000 Group 3 David R Coles AM Spring Stakes (1200m) their own with hoop Clare Lindop guiding the $2.30 favourite to an easy win in the weight-for-age clash after letting them relax off the pace early before their strong late burst.
On the line the six-year-old, last seen running third to Lord Of The Sky in the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield, had three lengths to spare over the Ryan Balfour-trained outsider Light It Up ($21) after breaking through at the top of the straight to run their rivals ragged.
In third a further length away again was then the Richard Jolly-trained Karacatis ($7) who hadn’t raced since a sixth to Smokin’ Joey in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m).
“I had a concern about the lack of speed in the race, as he can sometimes get a little fired up,” winning jockey Lindop, celebrating her first feature win since returning from a nasty fall at the track back in May, said.
“But he relaxed well and when he kicked away from them I was always confident.”
Riziz also ran in The Goodwood back on May 10 when third in the sprint classic on the back of a black-type win at the track.
They will next race back at the track but up over a little more distance in the Listed Penny Edition Stakes (1400m) in a fortnight.
The Paul Beshara-trained Happy Trails ($3.20) meanwhile was somewhat disappointing in their new season return running fifth when beaten just under five lengths.
They did their best work late though and jockey Troy Baker told connections they would be improved when getting on a firmer track, Morphettville a Slow (6) on Saturday, after their resuming run.
“It was hard for him to quicken,” Baker told The Advertiser.
“Every time I asked him to go, he wanted to dip. He just didn’t like the shifting ground.”
Fifth was the same finishing position the now seven-year-old Good Journey gelding ran in last year’s Spring Stakes when disappointed for a run in a luckless effort.
They went on last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign then to race very competitively at the highest level including their Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) win at Flemington and their narrow second to Shamus Award in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
Both the $500,000 Turnbull Stakes on October 4 and the $3 million Cox Plate 2014 three weeks’ later are on the agenda again this season for Happy Trails who was ruled out of the autumn due to injury.
Next start however Happy Trails will run in the $400,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 30, a race they finished seventh to Atlantic Jewel in last year.
“I’m not unhappy,” their trainer Beshara said of their run on Saturday.
“It was just a sprint home. He was never going to win giving the leader a start like he did.
“He was strong on the line and he’ll be much better for the outing.”
Their Cox Plate price through Ladbrokes.com.au remains at $15 despite their first-up loss, markets led by Silent Achiever ($11).
Previously Roger James’ Kiwi mare Silent Achiever, who won the Ranvet Stakes – The BMW double this autumn, was co-favourite in Cox Plate betting at $13 with Carlton House.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained Carlton House however has been retired to serve at stud and so obviously comes out of those markets.
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2014 Spring Stakes Results
Morphettville Race 7 – 09/08/2014
|1||2||RIZIZ||Ken Sweeney||Clare Lindop||–||5||58.5kg||$2.30F|
|2||7||LIGHT IT UP||Ryan Balfour||Joe Bowditch||2.9L||2||58.5kg||$21|
|3||3||KARACATIS||Richard Jolly||Jake Toeroek (a)||3.9L||1||58.5kg||$7|
|4||5||DAYTONA GREY||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Jason Holder||4.7L||8||58.5kg||$8|
|5||1||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara||Troy Baker||4.8L||9||58.5kg||$3.20|
|6||8||OUR LITTLETREASURE||Kerri McAnulty & Clint Binnie||Todd Pannell||5.3L||7||56.5kg||$71|
|7||6||MR GOOD CAT||Richard Jolly||Chad Lever||5.6L||4||58.5kg||$21|
|8||4||OUTLANDISH LAD||Dennis O’Leary||Libby Hopwood||6.2L||3||58.5kg||$26|
|9||9||PINKY TUSCADERO||Kerri McAnulty & Clint Binnie||Simon Price||9.5L||6||56.5kg||$41|