Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
Much loved Queensland trainer Desleigh Forster celebrated her first Group 1 success at Eagle Farm on Saturday with speedster Apache Chase holding on in a photo-thriller to take out the 2022 Kingsford-Smith Cup.
Franking the form out of Rockhampton’s The Archer (1300m) from May 7 having run second in that last start, Forster’s ultra-consistent Better Than Ready four-year-old Apache Chase broke through for a deserved elite level win back home in Brisbane’s Group 1 $700,000 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m).
Taken straight to the front by veteran local hoop Jim Byrne, Apache Chase held on for an all-the-way triumph despite a wall of horses coming for him late.
“All I said to J. Byrne was ‘don’t go slow’,” an ecstatic Forster told Sky Thoroughbred Central after the victory.
“Use his speed, use his gate, dig him and send him, get to the 3 (300m) and let him go.
“If they are good enough to run past him, they are good enough but if they are not, too bad.
“They weren’t a hope, they just left him in front and he just walked.
“He (Apache Chase) means the world to me.”
The eventual Kingsford-Smith Cup winner was left alone in the lead as the Godolphin-raced Doomben 10,000 runner-up Paulele settled second on his outside.
Getting the run of the race and conditions to suit on the Good (4) track, Apache Chase ($12) had enough speed to retain the lead and hold off the well-backed James Cummings-trained three-year-old Paulele ($6) right on the line.
“It was just going back to basics,” winning hoop Byrne said.
“Des spoke to us beforehand and she said let’s just go back to basics and ride the horse the way we know that he can do it.”
In a blanket finish, the late-lunging Gregory Hickman-trained Eleven Eleven ($15) was good late snaring third, while former JJ Atkins champ Rothfire ($19) for Brisbane horseman Robert Heathcote rounded out the first four after lifting to work home well.
“It was a superb run, he’s really on track for the Stradbroke after that superb performance,” jockey Hugh Bowman said of the third-placed Eleven Eleven.
Rothfire’s jockey James Orman also indicated improvement to come looking ahead to the Group 1 $1.5 million Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) on June 11.
“Just a bob of the head really,” he said of the close finish.
“I got the right run, just couldn’t get there today. He’s improved a lot back on top of the ground today and will run a really good race in the Stradbroke.”
Apache Chase could also now be in line for more Group 1 glory returning to the track for a shot at the Stradbroke in a fortnight.
New Zealand-trained mare Entriviere, third in the Doomben 10,000, went out favourite in the Kingsford-Smith Cup but only managed to run eleventh in a run jockey Opie Bosson described as disappointing.
“She did really well in the race and was probably just a little bit disappointing,” he said.
“Might be in need of a break now.”
2022 Kingsford-Smith Cup Results & Finishing Order
|1||5||APACHE CHASE||Desleigh Forster||Jim Byrne||4||59kg||$12|
|2||13||PAULELE||James Cummings||James McDonald||0.2L||6||57kg||$6|
|3||4||ELEVEN ELEVEN||Gregory Hickman||Hugh Bowman||0.3L||2||59kg||$15|
|4||7||ROTHFIRE||Robert Heathcote||James Orman||0.4L||11||59kg||$19|
|5||11||SEPTEMBER RUN||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||1.65L||5||57kg||$11|
|6||16||BROOKLYN HUSTLE||Jason Warren & Dean Krongold||Ms Jamie Kah||1.85L||3||57kg||$14|
|7||17e||SCALLOPINI||Steven O’Dea & Matthew Hoysted||Boris Thornton||2.05L||7||59kg||$41|
|8||1||PRIVATE EYE||Joseph Pride||Brenton Avdulla||2.15L||12||59kg||$21|
|9||14||ISOTOPE||Tony Gollan||Ryan Maloney||2.55L||10||57kg||$13|
|10||15||AWAY GAME||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||John Allen||3.05L||14||57kg||$12|
|11||12||ENTRIVIERE (NZ)||Mark Walker||Opie Bosson||3.25L||13||57kg||$5F|
|12||2||LAWS OF INDICES (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||Ms Rachel King||3.45L||16||59kg||$20|
|13||3||ELLSBERG||Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou||Nash Rawiller||3.55L||9||59kg||$10|
|14||9||SIGNORE FOX||Peter & Paul Snowden||Ben Thompson||3.85L||8||59kg||$26|
|15||8||OLMEDO (FR)||Annabel Neasham||Brodie Loy||4.35L||1||59kg||$81|
|16||6||WILD PLANET||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||William Pike||4.45L||15||59kg||$41|
|20e||RANCH HAND||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||0|
|21e||ALPINE EDGE||Toby & Trent Edmonds||Robbie Fradd||0|
|19e||JAMAEA||Robert & Luke Price||Tommy Berry||0|
|10||SIERRA SUE (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Daniel Moor||0|
|18e||NICCANOVA||Steve Tregea||Anthony Allen||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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