Christmas racing kicking off Flemington’s summer in bright style

17 December 2022 Written by Racing & Sports

Santa, sunshine, fast times and future prospects combined for a quality Christmas race day at Flemington.

Kensington win a highlight for veteran trainer

The Listed Kensington Stakes over 1000 metres highlighted the card with Western Victoria saluting as trainer Ken Elford’s Ashford Street took out the $200,000 feature.

Ashford Street’s winning time of 56.94 seconds was just shy of Headwater’s class record mark set in 2017 of 56.90.

“The horse has taken me on a wonderful journey. I’m so pleased with him,” Elford said of this career highlight.

Moody with a Christmas treble

A training treble at Flemington is an achievement just as much in December as it is in November and Peter Moody achieved it on the track and in the Stewards Room.

Moody opened the card with She Dances saluting in the Lexus Holiday Plate (1200m) followed by Pounding taking out the #LovethehorseTrophy (1600m) to notch an early double.

It was then to Invincible Caviar to make her mark at Flemington just as her memorable mother, Black Caviar, had done before her.

While the judge couldn’t split My Yankee Girl and Invincible Caviar – a dead heat in the Furphy Festive Season Sprint (1200m) – the stewards could as they lodged a protest over whip use by jockey Blake Shinn which was upheld.

On the Good 3 surface, the winning time of 1:09.15 set a new class record.

Moody was denied a fourth win as He’s Xceptional  beat Victory Bay by a nose in the Penfolds Handicap (1400m) in the last race of the day.

A Flemington performer scores again

The stayers featured in the Listed JRA Trophy (2600m) – a races that moves from state-to-state annually and it was Victoria’s turn to host the event first the first time since 2017.

Ciaron Maher and Dave Eustace have a top record with regularly targeting their stayers at longer distance races at Flemington and Persan added to that record this time.

After a solid performance at Caulfield behind 2019 Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare in three weeks earlier, Persan notched a fifth victory at Flemington together with two other placings in 14 starts here.

“He’s been a stalwart for the stable for a really long time,” co-trainer Dave Eustace said.

‘He’s run in some top races and in the (2021 Melbourne) Cup, so to get him back is such a great thrill for everyone.”

Persan will be back at Flemington for the traditional New Years’ Day highlight, the Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m), being next on the 2022 Melbourne Cup-winning stable’s agenda.

Flemington trainers on the winners’ list

Flemington-based trainers Leon and Troy Corstens won the G.H. Mumm (1100m) with For Real Life while Ben and JD Hayes quinellaed the TAB Trophy (1400m) with Nicolini Vito and Biometric.

That is racing in 2022 wrapped up now at Flemington after 23 race days and 214 races run.

On to 2023 and New Years’ Day racing back here at Headquarters.