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There is an old adage in racing, the more you win the better the price that came to fruition when Riyadh won two weeks at Flemington starting at $10 on Saturday, punters received $13.

He is proving a good money spinner for his trainer Peter Healey who has a small team at Mornington.

“He is really a good horse, he beat a pretty handy field today, he may be reserved for country cups coming into the new season, including the Kyneton Cup.’

Punters who were relying on Darren Weir to start the day with a winner via Ebediyin, were well off the ball as he never flattered at any stage of the race, opening up at $3.70, went into $2.80 before closing at $4.00, he was having his first start since coming from Ireland, he may improve. and he would need to if he is going to win here.

Brandon Stockdale gave a great exhibition of patience with an excellent ride on Dulverton, winning the Wilson Medic Rising Stars at Flemington.

It was his just his second ride back after scalding his arm with boiling water, and had to miss a few meetings as a result.

Melbourne is very well off for young apprentice jockeys, I doubt if we have seen a better bunch in a long time, a trainer could throw a set of colours into the jockey’s room and wouldn’t mind who picked them up.

Stockdale was biding his time before he asked the mare for an effort, in fact he didn’t let her down until they reached the clock tower.

A brilliant ride for one so young, he has a great future ahead of him.

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Brandon Stockdale returning to scale on Dulverton

Darren Weir showed a brand of enthusiasm, even foreign to him, after the success of Anchor Bid after her win in the Byerley Handicap over 1800 metres, genuine staying test which would have been better off being decided earlier in the season, rather than when the season is closing .

Whilst she beat a field of maidens her form line was well above the others, she did finish second behind the star colt, Royal Symphony, at her previous start, also at Flemington.

She is raced by Jonathon Munz, with a sound staying pedigree being by High Chaparral, her dam, Zapurple by Zabeel, won the South Australian Oaks, there is no doubt on pedigree, she will develop into more than a useful staying filly.

No firm plans have been announced as yet, possibly she will be eased up with the view to the Oaks that would increase her residual value.

Obviously they’re only three once and we’ll go home and freshen up for the spring and see how far we can get, the new farm at Maldon (formerly Trevenson Park Stud) could be the key to a quick assault in the spring.”

Weir’s new property at Maldon adjoins Oakford Thoroughbred Farm, the racing stables of the McKnight family where Weir has access to a water walker.

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The winning team

Peter Smith has just a small team in work at Benalla, he seldom comes to town unless it is for a good reason, he has quite an affinity with Flemington.

He struck gold again after quite a period of two years in fact, when Play Master put his best foot forward winning by a narrow margin in the Keith Morrison Handicap, the race named after a former secretary of the Victoria Racing Club.

Strange to say he has had more success with the horses he has bred, than those he has purchased, in particular the sire of Play Master, Masterprint, who passed away two years ago.

Jockey, Luke Currie, and trainer, Peter Smith, are quite good mates, they have joined forces on several occasions in the winner’s circle.

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Peter Smith and Luke Currie

Hay Bale compensated his owner, Tony Penglase, for a narrow defeat two weeks ago at Flemington, reversing the position when he won the final race on the card at headquarters.

He was among the leaders for most of the way and again showed a liking for the straight six.

His sire, Canford Cliffs, was a great racehorse, never out of a place in 10 starts, winning 7 times in the races that count, the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, all at Group 1 level, at his second attempt in the Sussex he had his colours lowered by Frankel.

He only raced in the best of company; his performance in the St James Palace Stakes was overwhelming, good horses got to his girth before he accelerated away from a class field.

Certainly here he has been disappointing, but all good racehorses don’t always make successful sires. 

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