Play Master pleased his Benalla-based trainer Peter Smith at Flemington on Saturday saluting in his maiden Black Type assignment to take out the All Victorian Sprint Series Final 2015 in an upset.
The six-year-old Masterprint gelding only stepped up to stakes company for the first time on the weekend in the $150,000 Listed All Victorian Sprint Series Final (1200m) becoming Smith’s first starter in a Black Type race during his training career.
Jumping from a nice barrier four draw in the 11-starter field, the chestnut was ridden by Craig Newitt who took over from Glen Boss – Boss aboard for Play Master’s last start fifth behind fellow rival on Saturday Lonrockstar in the Takeover Target Tribute Handicap (1100m).
Relishing a step up to 1200m and the give out of the track with a bit of rain around pre-race, Play Master ($13) improved and turned the tables on the John Sadler-trained Lonrockstar ($8.50) who ran a quarter length away second to the All Victorian Sprint Series Final winner.
It was a well-timed ride from Newitt who made a late dash down the inside 400m from the line before holding off the fast finishing Lonrockstar who was ridden by Craig Williams.
In third a further one and a quarter lengths away was then the Ciaron Maher-trained Hard Romp ($6), ridden by in-form apprentice Michael Dee, who was also third behind the same two horses in the Takeover Target Tribute lead-up a fortnight earlier.
“He’s a good little horse,” Smith, who also stood the winner’s stallion Masterprint until his passing on Christmas Eve last year, said of Play Master on Saturday post-win.
“Back to the 1200 today suited him and that little bit of rain was just enough to take the edge off the track.
“He’s a very unobtrusive looking horse, he’s nothing to look at, but he’s got a heart as big as himself. This is very pleasing.”
Adding to the emotion of Saturday’s win was Smith’s premonition of a special result after his strapper Gary Parkinson’s brother-in-law Barry Masuglia died of a heart attack on Tuesday, but not before putting one last bit of faith in a horse he loved.
“He had a heart attack and was on his last hour and he said, ‘for Christ’s sake have 50 each-way on Play Master’. So I think that’s got to be the biggest omen of all time,” Smith said.
“When Gary told me that yesterday I said, ‘I think something special might happen tomorrow’.
“I couldn’t believe in that moment of absolute despair he was still thinking about the horses.”
Smith confirmed Play Master would head out to his property after the win before a return later in the Spring.
“That’s his tenth run this preparation and there’s probably no need to spell him. Tomorrow he’ll go out in a 20-acre paddock with other horses,” Smith said on Saturday.
“He’ll be a horse again for two days. You wouldn’t believe how that will help him recover, rather than take him home and stand him in a box in Caulfield.”
See below for the full All Victorian Sprint Series Final 2015 results then visit Ladbrokes.com.au to get behind the next winter winner online at the best price at the bookie rewarding new depositing players with up to $500 in bonus bets with use of the code BETBONUS!
2015 All Victorian Sprint Series Final Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 8 – 11/07/2015
|1||9||PLAY MASTER||Peter Smith||Craig Newitt||–||4||54.5kg||$13|
|2||7||LONROCKSTAR||John Sadler||Craig Williams||0.4L||3||55kg||$8.50|
|3||3||HARD ROMP||Ciaron Maher||Michael Dee (a)||1.65L||1||57.5kg||$6|
|4||6||NEAREST TO PIN||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Clare Lindop||1.75L||5||55.5kg||$10|
|5||10||NADEEM LASS||Robbie Griffiths||Glen Boss||1.85L||11||54kg||$8|
|6||12||WRITTEN UP||George Osborne||Dean Holland||2.85L||9||54kg||$7.50|
|7||4||DECIRCLES||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||2.95L||10||56.5kg||$5.50F|
|8||1||DESERT JEUNEY||Nigel Blackiston||James Winks||3.7L||6||60kg||$17|
|9||11||ABOUT SQUARE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Dwayne Dunn||4.7L||7||54kg||$10|
|10||13||RED CORNER||Darren Weir||Chris Parnham||4.8L||8||54kg||$15|
|11||5||SOLSAY||Michael Kent||Ms Jackie Beriman (a)||5.1L||2||56kg||$17|
|–||8||SMACKDOWN (NZ)||Trent Pennuto||Jordan Mallyon||–||0||–||–|
|–||2||GENERAL TRUCE||Ricky Maund||Steven Arnold||–||0||–||–|