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A day of Summer Fun at Flemington

20 January 2024 Written by Racing & Sports

A look at some of the action on Summer Fun Day at Flemington.

French jockey Mickaelle Michel has added a Flemington victory to her list of international winners.

In her quest to become an international jockey, Mickaelle Michel has ticked off another bucket list item with a victory at Flemington 

Back-to-back goes Sans Doute 

After registering her maiden Australian win at the Rapid Racing program on December 20, Sans Doute has again shown her liking for the Flemington straight taking out the Black Caviar Lightning Race Day, 17 February. 

The Te Akau Racing mare has been a work in progress for trainer Mark Walker and his Melbourne assistant Ben Gleeson. 

Gleeson said it was satisfying to land back-to-back victories with the mare after Walker placed his trust in his Australian conditioner in deciding on a program for the mare. 

“To see the way she has progressed since she first got here, with a poor run in there as well, it is very satisfying to see her strike form,” Gleeson said. 

“She’s had a pretty long prep now, so we’ll see how she pulls up. 

“A week at the water walker or a couple of weeks in the paddock might do her wonders, but we’d like to try and find some Black Type with her.” 

Laing finds winner circle again at headquarters 

Victoria Derby winning trainer Robbie Laing made a welcome return to the winner’s stall at Flemington when El Soleado took out the VRC Life Member John Dale Mile (1600m). 

Laing estimated it had been more than five years since he last tasted success at Flemington. 

“A couple of those I was out with my money troubles,” Laing said. 

Laing said it was satisfying to land a Flemington victory for Colleen and Kevin Bamford who have been associated with the trainer for more than 20 years. 

“They picked the phone up in 2005 when I had 24 hours to syndicate Roman Arch and they grabbed a tenth six weeks before he won the Australian Cup,” Laing said. 

“They’ve always been around, and I ran into Colleen at the races one day and she asked if I had any in work when I got my (trainer’s) ticket back. 

“I said none, so she sent me down a Toronado (El Soleado) horse they had to withdraw from the VOBIS Gold sale when he injured a leg. 

“I said after six weeks of work that he was a good horse and please don’t take him off me and give to somebody else.” 

Two in a row for Jungle Jim 

Jungle Jim relished the challenge of a return to the Flemington straight 1200m with an easy win in the VRC Super Saturday, 9 March. 

A week after carrying 59kg to victory over the same course and distance last Saturday, Jungle Jim carried 1.5kg less, despite rising to benchmark 84 level. 

The 3kg claim for Tatum Bull was put to good use, but the ride only became available after Celine Gaudrey, who rode the sprinter in last week’s win, had taken another ride. 

Tatum Bull after winning the VRC Super Saturday, 9 March at Flemington. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

Jungle Jim gave trainer Mike Moroney a double for the afternoon after the win of Bermadez and assistant trainer Glen Thompson said as the gelding had done so well during the week it was decided to start him again as there was a lack of other suitable races. 

“Mike looked at to see where he could go after last week and there wasn’t a lot of options other than Stakes grade, or backing up this week,” Thompson said. 

“So, he came through the run well enough, and Mike was happy to back him up here today.” 

Thompson said Jungle Jim could return to Flemington for another 1200m in around four weeks' time. 

Adelaide trip on the cards 

With One Last Kiss owned in Adelaide, her Ballarat trainer Dan O’Sullivan was planning an interstate raid as early as next week. 

But with victory in the VRC Life Member Robert Lane Trophy (2520m), O’Sullivan is now thinking of raising the bar for a potential tilt at the Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville in March. 

With one of the owners, David Peacock, being a breeder, O’Sullivan said now that One Last Kiss had ticked off a win in the metropolitan area, some Black Type next to her name was now crucial. 

“She’s out of a good family, so Black Type is important,” O’Sullivan said. 

“We may look at the Torney Cup (at Moonee Valley), the Pakenham Cup and as all the owners are from Adelaide, the Adelaide Cup might be the end goal too.” 

So Risque going through the grades 

The Lindsay Park team of Ben, Will and JD Hayes have been patient in their placing of So Risque and are in no rush to send him to a higher level despite his win in the VRC Life Member Daniel Connell Trophy (1400m). 

So Risque has won seven of his 24 starts to date and has banked a shade over $300,000 in prize money for his connections. 

While the temptation may be there to search for a Stakes race in the early part of the upcoming autumn carnival, Ben Hayes said the stable was likely to keep the gelding at benchmark level after landing a second benchmark 84 win in his last four starts. 

“That was a very good race today and he beat some very good horses,” Hayes said. 

“We’ll see what the options are, but we’ve been enjoying taking him through the grades and really squeezing that lemon. 

“If there was a suitable Stakes race that we could head to, we might, but we’re just enjoying the ride at the moment.”