A masterful but nearly disqualified ride by young hoop Luke Tarrant saw Queensland visitor Rudy score a narrow win in the feature Sydney race of the weekend – Randwick’s 2014 Villiers Stakes.
Twenty-year-old Tarrant had his first ride outside of his home state in the $175,000 Group 1 Inglis Villiers Stakes (1600m) on Saturday, but his winning ride nearly didn’t count when he weighed in 400g under the 53kg allocation for the Helen Page-trained winner.
Disqualification occurs 500g underweight, so with 100g to spare he was saved and connections were able to start the celebrations with Page quick to stand by the jockey.
“Down here you weigh out a race before so there is a much longer wait,” she said.
“In that time Luke has probably gone to the toilet. It has been a big day and a big occasion and nerves would have taken over.
“He only had the one ride and has been waiting around all day.”
Leader in the Brisbane jockeys’ premiership back home, Tarrant received a $1000 fine but he was more than happy to cop that and enjoy having a Group 2 under the belt.
“It’s my first ride out of Queensland and to win the Villiers is great,” he said.
“Darren Beadman told me a lot about riding Randwick. Jim Cassidy took me under his wing.
“All the jockeys in the room have been tremendous.”
Coming from the back of the pack in this year’s 15-starter Villiers Stakes field, four-year-old Rudy ($5.50) and Tarrant stormed home strong and had a short-neck to spare over Chris Waller’s Festival Stakes winner I’m Imposing ($14).
There was then a notable gap from second to third with another of Waller’s three starters, Strawberry Boy ($8), finishing a further two lengths off the winner in the same position he ran in the Listed Festival Stakes behind his stable mate last time out.
Strawberry Boy was fourth over the line officially but a protest was upheld and he snared a top three position for interference from Scott Aspery’s Festival Stakes runner-up Estonian Princess ($6.50) who then finished off the Villiers Stakes first four after losing her original position.
The $5 starting favourite Sir Moments meanwhile could only manage to cross four and a half lengths away for seventh.
It was a great win for the former Warwick Farm-based Page who made a rare trip back home for a feature race win, as she did back in 2004 with Doonan taking out the Golden Rose.
Now qualified for a shot at the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) in early April next year, Rudy is likely to be targeted for that autumn classic accord to Page.
“I want to take small steps with but the Doncaster is definitely in our minds,” she said.
“The summer campaign was aimed at getting his prize money up to get him into the bigger races next year.
“Luke couldn’t have ridden him any better and it’s a great thrill.”
See below for the full Villiers Stakes 2014 results, the next Sydney Summer Racing Carnival feature being the $125,000 Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) on Boxing Day.
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2014 Villiers Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 6 – 13/12/2014
|1||12||RUDY||Helen Page||Luke Tarrant (a)||–||6||53kg||$5.50|
|2||4||I’M IMPOSING (GB)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||0.2L||12||56.5kg||$14|
|3||3||STRAWBERRY BOY||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||2.2L||1||57kg||$8|
|4||8||ESTONIAN PRINCESS||Scott Aspery||Brenton Avdulla||2.3L||7||53.5kg||$6.50|
|5||7||SCREAM MACHINE||Jason Coyle||Tim Clark||2.4L||10||55kg||$18|
|6||14||GENERAL GROOVE||Leon & Troy Corstens||Jason Collett||4.2L||9||53kg||$21|
|7||6||SIR MOMENTS||Steven O’dea||Timothy Bell||4.5L||14||55.5kg||$5F|
|8||5||PELICANO||Tony McEvoy||Matthew Neilson||4.7L||2||56kg||$18|
|9||1||MONTON||Ron Quinton||Sam Clipperton||5.8L||5||59kg||$31|
|10||9||MIDSUMMER SUN (GB)||Sam Kavanagh||Chad Lever||6.1L||8||53.5kg||$41|
|11||11||ROSE OF CHOICE||Peter & Paul Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||6.3L||11||53kg||$10|
|12||13||KAYPERS||Greg Bennett||Ms Kathy O’Hara||6.4L||13||53kg||$31|
|13||10||MULTILATERAL (USA)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||6.9L||3||53kg (cd 53.5kg)||$17|
|14||15||KEEP COOL (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Lester Grace (a)||8.7L||15||53kg||$81|
|15||2||AOMEN (IRE)||Anthony Cummings||Joshua Parr||12.9L||4||57.5kg||$21|