Irish Derby hero Latrobe just failed in his quest to land the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (1m2f) at Flemington on Saturday, going down by a head to Trap For Fools.
Trained by Jarrod McLean, Trap For Fools missed the Group 1 Cox Plate after the Moonee Valley Racing Club used its powers to exclude the five-year-old gelding from the final field, on the grounds that his form did not merit a starting place in the A$5 million contest. That won’t matter to connections now after his pillar-to-post victory at Flemington.
Under John Allen, Trap For Fools was soon at the head of affairs and allowed to set his own tempo, with Latrobe settled at the rear of the ten-runner field by Mark Zahra.
As Trap For Fools kicked for home entering the straight, Latrobe made his bid out wide and despite running on strongly, Trap For Fools found more when challenged to edge out Joseph O’Brien’s runner.
Godolphin’s Blair House, sent off favourite for Charlie Appleby and William Buick, could finish only seventh after fading inside the final furlong.
The victory was a first Group 1 success for McLean, who also is the foreman for Darren Weir’s Warrnambool stable.
Talented sprinter Santa Ana Lane registered his fourth victory at the highest level in the VRC Sprint Stakes (6f) at Flemington.
The son of Ballylinch Stud resident Lope De Vega was bouncing back from a disappointing sixth-placed effort on an unsuitable heavy track in the second edition of The Everest claimed by Redzel.
Santa Ana Lane, who had sat at the back of the field in the opening stages, was unleashed by Mark Zahra to beat In Her Time by a neck, with Godolphin’s Jungle Cat a length and a half away in third.
Madison County claims New Zealand 2,000 Guineas
Madison County, a son of Pins (Snippets), captured the Group 1 New Zealand 2,000 Guineas (1m) at Riccarton Park on Saturday.
Trained by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman and ridden by Matthew Cameron, Madison County defeated Dawn Patrol (Dawn Approach) by two and a half lengths.
While the winner’s sire Pins may not be familiar to British racing fans, they may well remember his damsire No Excuse Needed, a talented miler for Sir Michael Stoute whose victories included the Queen Anne Stakes and Celebration Mile.
Lys Gracieux runs on late to take Queen Elizabeth II Cup
The Queen Elizabeth II Cup (1m3f) at Kyoto on Sunday went the way of the Yoshito Yahagi-trained Lys Gracieux.
A four-year-old daughter of Heart’s Cry, Lys Gracieux came widest of all in the home straight and duly ran down Crocosmia to land the Grade 1 by a neck under Joao Moreira, who is able to ride in the nation despite failing a written exam that would have enabled him to take out a full-time licence.