Former Sydney galloper Lightinthenite annihilated his rivals by nine lengths in Monday's $200,000 Darwin Cup at Fannie Bay racecourse; ridden to perfection by champion jockey Hugh Bowman Lightinthenite was always in a great position before Lightinthenite strode to the front with around 600 metres remaining. Lightinthenite never looked like losing from that moment and he continued to increase his margin in the straight. Lightinthenite ran a blistering 2 minutes 00.23 seconds for the 2000 metres smashing the previous track record by more than a second. It was a great day for Lightinthenite's trainer Gary Clarke with a winning treble. Moss'n Time made it seven wins in a row by taking-out Saturday's $135,000 Palmerston Sprint for trainer Lisa Lefoe and jockey Paul Denton.
Read more: Lightinthenite Romps Home In Darwin Cup
43 year old Damien Oliver proved, at the very least, that he is still the best jockey in Melbourne by winning the Jockeys' Premiership on a tenth occasion; after a hotly-disputed contest over recent months Oliver prevailed with 60 wins to defeat Craig Williams with 58 and Dwayne Dunn with 57 wins. Oliver won his first title as a 19 year old so in the words of Oliver himself it has indeed been "a long and successful career"; besides his premiership successes Oliver is third on the all-time list with 101 Group 1 winners and only legendary jockeys George Moore and Roy Higgins have ridden more. Oliver's Group 1 wins include 3 Melbourne Cups, 4 Caulfield Cups, 2 Cox Plates and a Golden Slipper and he is undoubtedly one of the greatest jockeys in Australian racing history.
Read more: Damien Oliver Claims 10th Melbourne Premiership
The Jockeys' Premierships in Melbourne and Sydney are still up for grabs with less than a fortnight remaining in the current season; over the last few weeks Dwayne Dunn, Craig Williams and Damien Oliver have been riding in great form and it was no different at Flemington on Saturday with Oliver riding a treble, Dunn a double and Williams one. The ride of the day was Oliver's on Bagman in the last race; after riding a perfect race throughout Oliver drove Bagman to the lead at the 200 metre mark but Bagman was then under siege from Black Tomahawk which carried 9kg less. However Oliver lifted Bagman over the concluding stages to win by a half-neck and Oliver is a real chance to win his 10th premiership; Dunn is the leader with 57 wins from Williams and Oliver on 55 and with Dunn now serving a suspension any of the three could win.
Read more: Titanic Struggles In Jockeys' Premierships
The Chris Waller-trained Amovatio created history when he carried 60kg, the highest weight ever to win the Winter Championship Series Final over 1600 metres at Flemington in a great performance; the favourite Mr Utopia looked likely to win when he hit the front close to the line but Damien Oliver and Amovatio would not be denied and they snatched victory in the final stride. Amovatio easily won a heat of the Winter Championship at his previous start and yet he started at a generous $9.50. Amovatio's form on good tracks is excellent and given those conditions he can be competitive in races like the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and Toorak Handicap in the Spring.
Read more: Amovatio Creates History In Winter Championship
Last year's winner Lord Of The Sky failed to flatter in this year's Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes at Caulfield which was won in brilliant style by the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained mare Miss Promiscuity; the whole complexion of the Monash changed when Lord Of The Sky missed the start and Dwayne Dunn on Miss Promiscuity took full advantage having Miss Promiscuity close to the leaders and ready to pounce. The Monash was over in the twinkling of an eye when Dunn released the brakes on Miss Promiscuity and she careered-away to defeat dead-heaters Angels Beach and Wild Rain by a widening two and three-quarter lengths. This was clearly Miss Promiscuity's career-high and if she can maintain this level of performance she will be very competitive in better races.
Read more: Promiscuity Dethrones Lord In Monash
Sydney's leading apprentice Winona Costin had a field day at Rosehill on Saturday with her first-ever metropolitan treble; Costin had to weave between runners to score on Intrepid Way at $11 and Queen Of Kariba at $3.60 while she lead all the way aboard Beauty's Beast at $11. Costin has now ridden 32 winners for the current season and this is an outstanding achievement considering the depth of riders in Sydney which includes James McDonald, Blake Shinn and Hugh Bowman.
Read more: Winona Costin Steals Show At Rosehill
Victorian mare Srikandi continued her Queensland love-affair with another brilliant display in the Group 1 Tattersall's Tiara over 1400 metres at the Gold Coast; after a superb victory in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at Doomben a fortnight earlier Srikandi was the form-horse of the Tiara but she had to overcome the outside barrier so her task was not an easy one. Kerrin McEvoy rode the perfect race on Srikandi and he quickly had Srikandi coasting in the lead; Srikandi was challenged by Avoid Lightning in the straight but Srikandi proved too strong. It has been a great training effort by Ciaron Maher to win the Stradbroke/Tatt's Tiara double with Srikandi especially since she failed in the BTC Cup and the Doomben 10,000 before the Stradbroke.
Read more: Srikandi Strikes Again In Tatt's Tiara
The Wez Hunter-trained Smokin' Joey proved too classy for his rivals in the Listed Eye Liner Stakes at Ipswich; Smokin Joey's previous fourteen runs were at Group level and although Smokin' Joey had to lump 59.5kg he really appreciated the easier grade. Given a typically outstanding ride by Damien Browne Smokin' Joey made an early run around the field to join the leaders around the turn; Daph 'n' Alf fought-on strongly but Smokin' Joey wore him down in the drive to the line. Three year old Ulmann did not have a lot of luck before he flashed-home for third. Smokin' Joey will now rest for a few weeks in Queensland before being targeted for another shot at the G1 Emirates Stakes at Flemington.
Read more: Joey Smokin' In Eye Liner
Victorian mare Srikandi confirmed her love affair with Queensland with a dominant victory in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at Doomben; Kerrin McEvoy took full advantage of Srikandi's inside barrier to hold the rails and boot-clear early in the straight. Srikandi kept going powerfully to defeat Boban by almost two lengths with Generalife running home strongly for third. Srikandi finished third in last year's Stradbroke and she resumed from a long spell with an easy win in the Victory Stakes at the Gold Coast; Srikandi was then disappointing at her next two starts in the BTC Cup and Doomben 10,000 so it was a superb training performance by Ciaron Maher to have Srikandi at her absolute best for the Stradbroke.
Read more: Srikandi Sizzles In Stradbroke
Chris Waller made it Group 1 number thirteen for the season when his brilliant filly Winx made a one-act affair of the Queensland Oaks over 2200 metres at Doomben; after a tough and successful Autumn culminating in a gallant second to Gust Of Fire in the ATC Oaks Winx was freshened with the Queensland Winter Carnival in mind. After a scintillating win in the Sunshine Coast Guineas Winx was even more impressive winning the Queensland Oaks. Hugh Bowman gave Winx plenty of time to settle down and she had no trouble cruising into the race approaching the home turn and unleashing a devastating sprint in the straight. Ungrateful Ellen and Imperial Lass battled-on strongly for second and third but they were not in the same class as Winx which careered-away to win by three and a half lengths.
Read more: Waller's Winx Wallops Fillies In Oaks