Ad Wonder Boy ridden by Luke Currie wins the RDA Peninsula Jenny Stidston Sprint. Photo by Ross Holburt/Racing Photos

A brief look at Flemington undercard on Community Race Day

8 June 2024 Written by Racing & Sports

A brief look at some of the stories at our first Winter Racing meet for the season.

Marconi turns back the clock 

Carlo Marconi stepped away from training horses more than 10 years ago but was called upon to represent Mornington trainer Jerome Hunter on Saturday. 

Hunter is on a month’s holiday and Marconi has had little to do with horses since handing in his trainer’s licence. 

Nowadays Marconi is employed at Mornington racecourse as their resident plumber, but the success of the Hunter-trained Wonder Boy in the RDA Peninsula Jenny Sidston Sprint (1200m) brought back some wonderful memories for the former trainer. 

Before branching out on his own, Marconi was foreman for his father Jim who had plenty of success at Flemington. 

“We had quite a bit of success here and won a couple of Group 1’s, but we also ran second in a few (Victoria) Derbies and (Australian) Guineas,” Marconi said. 

Watching Wonder Boy, Marconi was impressed with the gelding’s debut win and said he shapes as a potential Group horse later in his career. 

Berkshire in a Breeze 

The Ciaron Maher stable hopes to see Berkshire Breeze in some of the big spring handicaps after his dominant victory in the RDAV Sally Francis Plate (2520m). 

To get to a race like the Caulfield Cup or Melbourne Cup, Berkshire Breeze will need to build his rating after landing Saturday’s race at benchmark 84 level. 

Maher’s assistant trainer Jack Turnbull said Berkshire Breeze would rise marginally in the ratings following Saturday’s win and would need a handicap victory to gain a ratings hike. 

Victory in races like the Hotham Handicap (2500m) in September and The Bart Cummings (2500m) in October, both at Flemington, carry a ballot exemption into the Melbourne Cup. 

“He’ll eventually be aimed at the bigger spring handicaps,” Turnbull said. 

"We’re going to place him through the winter and profile him as a horse that is knocking on spring’s doorstep.” 

Former Maher and David Eustace-trained gallopers Persan and Grand Promenade raced successfully through the winter months in Melbourne before making the Melbourne Cup field, with Persan finishing fifth in 2020 and Grand Promenade sixth in 2021. 

First Flemington win for apprentice 

In form apprentice Jaylah Kennedy registered her first Flemington winner when Lady In Pink took out the RDA Moorabbin Jane Baker Plate (2000m). 

Kennedy has now ridden winners at the past three Saturday meetings, including her first city double at Sandown on May 25. 

“Unbelievable,” Kennedy said on dismounting from Lady In Pink. 

“Flemington is the one I have wanted to crack. 

“To sit three-wide, no cover, the whole way, and being able to perform like that, it’s a credit to the horse.” 

Kennedy is able to claim 3kg in the metropolitan area but is fast approaching the 80 career wins which will see her lose her claim on country tracks. 

Party aims for Creswick Stakes 

The Anthony and Sam Freedman stable believes Right To Party has a ‘Black Type’ win in her after landing an overdue win in the ATA Trainers’ Trust Handicap (1100m). 

The filly will now go straight into the Listed A R Creswick Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on July 6 looking for that elusive Stakes race success. 

Saturday’s win was the filly’s first since winning a maiden at Doomben on June 7 last year, with all subsequent runs being at Stakes level. 

“This is probably the easiest race she has contested since that maiden win,” Sam Freedman said. 

“There’s a lot of staff that have done a good job with her. 

“She’s done a bit of barrier work with Julien Welsh. She was getting a bit cantankerous in the barrier in her trials. 

“Macca, our farrier, she hasn’t got the best feet, so he’s done a tremendous job. 

“She was bright and sound today but has been a little frustrating, and she certainly should have won a Stakes race by now. 

“She’ll find herself in the Creswick Stakes in a month’s time and that will suit her nicely.” 

Pagan lands second Flemington victory 

Former AFL premiership winning coach Denis Pagan was the toast of Flemington back in 2020 when Johnny Get Angry took out the Group 1 Victoria Derby. 

Pagan had to wait almost four years for his second Flemington winner when Georgie Get Mad took out the RDA Pakenham Trophy (1400m) to provide apprentice Tatum Bull with a winning double. 

Holding an owner-trainer's licence, Pagan has now won 13 races in his training career and credited a change of tactics in getting Georgie Get Mad over the line. 

“We just tried to ride him a little bit quieter, and it worked,” Pagan said. 

“Troy Corstens and Will Larkin in the (trainer’s) box said we should try something different. They were right as he had led in a lot of his races and had just been pipped a lot of time. 

“So many thoughts go through your mind, and I thought Scott Cameron’s horse (Elouyou) was going to hold him off, but with 51 kilos, it was probably the difference at the finish.”