Special win headlines National Jockeys Trust Race Day

20 May 2023 Written by Racing & Sports

Flemington hosted its National Jockeys Trust Race Day on Saturday with a number of good storylines emerging on a day that is so special to Victoria’s riding fraternity.

One of the day’s features was the $130,000 In Memory Of Dean Holland (1800m), which provided Tom Stockdale with a special win.

He denied hot favourite Altivo, who was chasing a fifth-straight win to start his career, aboard the Peter Moody-trained Daytona Bay.

“It’s just great to win a race in Dean Holland’s memory,” Stockdale said.

Holland lost his life in a race fall at Donald late last month and was farewelled in a moving ceremony at Flemington on May 8.

The VRC this week announced that the winning jockey in the Newmarket Handicap – which Holland won this year’s aboard In Secret – will from now on receive an award named in Holland’s honour.

Daytona Bay’s win was the first win of a six-start campaign that hasn’t seen him finish further back than fifth, which brought a big smile to the face of Moody’s assistant trainer Katherine Coleman.

“I’m so thrilled because this horse really deserves it,” she said.

“He’s a really tough horse and connections Ron and Judy Wanless have been really patient with him and persevered with him.”

The son of American Pharoah, who started $17, scored by a nose from the $1.50 favourite Altivo with Flash Feeling ($26) 1-1/2 lengths away third.

Daytona Bay’s win brought up a winning double for the Moody stable, who earlier saw Laura Lafferty guide Sigh to a first-up win in the $80,000 Stableline Sprint (1100m).

Sigh ridden by Laura Lafferty wins the Stableline Sprint at Flemington. (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

Lafferty realises Flemington dream

The win aboard Sigh capped an unforgettable day for Laura Lafferty, who celebrated a significant career success.

Not only did it complete a running double – she also won Race 2 aboard the Patrick Payne-trained Jenny Jerome – they were her first wins at Australia’s most famous racecourse.

“That (Jenny Jerome) was my first Flemington winner and to get two is really good,” she said.

“I feel like I’ve been riding well for a while but just haven’t been getting the opportunities, so I can’t thank the trainers enough.”

Jusufovic doubles up with stable favourites

Enver Jusufovic’s connection with Flemington goes back to when he was a paperboy so it was fitting the revered track was the scene for his greatest moment in racing.

The popular horseman prepared Vongole to score a blowout win in the $150,000 3AW Sprint (1100m) and 40 minutes later saw stable star Pinstriped win the $150,000 Winter Championship Trophy (1600m).

Jusufovic trains out of Cranbourne, but grew up close to Flemington and took great satisfaction out of his running double.

“I’m born and bred in Footscray here, so not too far away, and as a kid sold Heralds up there on the hill,” Jusufovic said.

“So, to be here today and train a double, it’s surreal.”

Pinstriped made it back-to-back wins, having not started since his win in the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Mile at Sandown on April 15, when he swept to a two-length win over Beehunter ($31), who edged out Riddle Me That ($13) for second.

“I’ve had to turn things around with this horse and build him right up and just make him that little bit more comfortable with raceday procedures,” Jusufovic said.

“He’s just in a good space at the moment and I think we’ll see a nice horse in the spring.”

While Pinstriped was the $2.80 favourite, Vongole was sent out a $51 chance.

“Vongole goes everywhere he (Pinstriped) goes, whether Vongole is nominated to race or not,” he said.

“He just seems to be a very good companion for him and, owning 70 percent of Vongole, I can do whatever I want with him.”

Pinstriped and Vongole were both ridden to victory by Ben Allen.

Le Zebra (NZ) ridden by Blake Shinn wins the Jockey Appreciation Plate at Flemington. (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

Zebra earns is stripes

David and Emma-Lee Browne have always held high hopes for Le Zebra and the grey front-runner might have earned himself a crack at Group 1 company earlier than first planned.

The Rip Van Winkle two-year-old made it back-to-back wins with an all-the-way win in the $150,000 Jockey Appreciation Plate.

The 1400-metre event was a heat of the Taj Rossi Series, the 1600m final of which will be run at Flemington o Finals Day, but David Browne said the gelding might have earned himself a shot at the Group 1 J J Atkins (1600m) in Queensland next month.

“We’ll possibly put him away, possibly, but we might look maybe at going to Queensland,” Browne said.

“I think he’s earned a path there if we want to go there, but we’ll just make sure he comes through it right.”

Le Zebra ($4.40) took his record to two wins from four starts with his one-length all-the-way victory over Mojave Desert ($9). Stellar Mofeed ($14) was three-quarters-of-a-length away third.