The embattled Lee & Shannon Hope father and son training team finished off their Melbourne Cup Carnival with a Crown Oaks Day win when Pittsburgh Flyer handled a Heavy Flemington track on Thursday to take out the G.H. Mumm Stakes 2015 in an upset.
The Kilmore-based Hopes face a three-year disqualification for elevated cobalt readings, the result of which they find out next week after they pleaded guilty to six charges surrounding prohibited substances in their horses.
Helping ease the pain of the off-the-track drama was the impressive $200,000 Group 3 G.H. Mumm Stakes (1100m) success of progressive Street Cry four-year-old Pittsburgh Flyer.
The mare hadn’t won a race since her last look at the Flemington straight when saluting in Listed company over 1100m to defeat Earthquake back in mid-March.
She relished the return to the track and ploughed through the Heavy going with Sydney-based jockey James McDonald giving her a beautiful weaving ride from a wide barrier third-up.
Barry Lockwood’s visiting Brisbane-trained mare Hidden Pearl crossed from a double digit draw with Jim Cassidy aboard to take the lead in the mares’ only sprint, with Darren Weir’s also widely-drawn Tuscan Sling not far away.
One of the best in betting, the Kris Lees-trained Brook Road meanwhile was one of the last in running throughout before making up lots of late ground.
The field split in two divisions and the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Alinghi Stakes runner-up last time out Miss Promiscuity was right up on the pace having a crack on the inside bunch.
Inside the final 200m the returning Peter & Paul Snowden-trained O’Reilly mare Dublin Lass, who hadn’t raced since a dead last when 15th to Srikandi in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at the Gold Coast in June, was starting to really hit her straps.
McDonald and Pittsburgh Flyer came with a lunging run down the outside and turned it into a photo finish with Blake Shinn’s mount Dublin Lass who was impressive first-up on the back of a winning Warwick Farm trail from the start of October.
In the end it was the longer-priced of the two to win with Pittsburgh Flyer ($21) boasting the narrow margin over five-year-old Dublin Lass ($11) while Brook Road ($7.50), with Hugh Bowman aboard, ran an eye-catching third from the back.
“She was out the back, not a care in the world,” McDonald said after his winning ride.
“She’s a lovely mare and it’s the first time I’ve ever sat on her.
“They gave me strict instructions not to go too early on her.
“She’s a good mare.
“She travelled really sweetly in behind them. She won really well.”
Luckless first-up when fourth over the 1100m at Caulfield in late September, Pittsburgh Flyer was beaten just over two lengths when sixth in the Alinghi Stakes on Caulfield Cup Day, and co-trainer Shannon Hope was thrilled to see the mare back in the winners’ stall.
“We stuck to the sprint trips this time in,” he explained, adding that the addition of a tongue tie also made a notable difference.
“This is our last runner for the Carnival so to finish up like this it’s great.”
After Crown Oaks Day the four-meeting Melbourne Cup Carnival comes to a close on Saturday with Emirates Stakes Day and Ladbrokes.com.au are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% across the card like they did on Thursday at Flemington!
2015 GH Mumm Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 7 – 05/11/2005
|1||12||PITTSBURGH FLYER||Lee & Shannon Hope||James McDonald||–||13||55.5kg||$21|
|2||10||DUBLIN LASS||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||0.4L||8||55.5kg||$11|
|3||9||BROOK ROAD||Kris Lees||Hugh Bowman||0.7L||9||55.5kg||$7.50|
|4||20||MATILIJA||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Ben Melham||1.1L||15||55kg||$21|
|5||11||JAPHILS||John Sadler||Craig Williams||1.2L||17||55.5kg||$18|
|6||6||I LOVE IT||John Salanitri||Stephen Baster||1.4L||6||57.5kg||$19|
|7||18||TUSCAN SLING||Darren Weir||Ms Michelle Payne||1.5L||14||55kg||$8.50|
|8||16||CATCH THAT CAT||Gwenda Johnstone||Luke Currie||1.9L||3||55kg||$51|
|9||13||NAUTICAL||Nikki Burke||Glyn Schofield||3.15L||7||55kg||$51|
|10||14||HIDDEN PEARL||Barry Lockwood||Jim Cassidy||3.25L||11||55kg||$4.40F|
|11||5||YGRITTE||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||3.45L||1||57.5kg||$26|
|12||4||MISS PROMISCUITY||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Damien Oliver||4.2L||5||57.5kg||$8.50|
|13||1||ELOPING||John Sargent||Glen Boss||4.4L||18||59kg||$21|
|14||21e||OH SO ASSERTIVE (NZ)||Dean Binaisse||Patrick Moloney (a)||5.65L||12||55kg||$151|
|15||17||JUDICIAL ROCK||Leon & Troy Corstens||Craig Newitt||7.15L||2||55kg||$101|
|16||15||I AM GYPSY||Gordon Richards||Ms Jamie Kah||7.35L||4||55kg||$26|
|17||3||AFLEET ESPRIT||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||10.1L||16||57.5kg||$19|
|18||8||THE MESSINA NYMPH||Tony McEvoy||Kerrin McEvoy||10.2L||10||56.5kg||$16|
|–||19||NORTHERN SAINT||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||James Winks||–||0||–||–|
|–||2||LUMOSTY||Robert Smerdon||Dwayne Dunn||–||0||–||–|
|–||7||IN STYLE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Steven Arnold||–||0||–||–|