Absent McAuliffe Celebrates Double

13
Jun

Trainer Darren McAuliffe is enjoying an overseas holiday but his stable was still able to exert a major influence with a race-to-race double at Belmont.

Stealing the limelight was quality mare Fuchsia Bandana who put aside recent disappointments with victory in the Group 3 Hyperion Stakes (1600m).

After frustrating third placings in the Roma Cup (1200m) and Belmont Sprint (1400m) respectively, the four-year-old broke through stylishly.

Unlike the Belmont Sprint when Fuchsia Bandana went toe-to-toe with pacesetter, Dawn Approach, the daughter of Trade Fair was able to find the front unchallenged.

Expertly rated by jockey, Jarrad Noske, Fuchsia Bandana was never headed and hit the line just under a length clear of Respondent.

Flashing home for third was Tower Of Lonhro with fourth placegetter, Balmont Girl, given too much of a task after turning for home last.

Noske reaffirmed his affinity with Fuchsia Bandana after guiding her to a maiden stakes success in last year’s Northerly Stakes (1400m).

The top rider claimed his first win in the Hyperion Stakes, joining his father, Jeff, who combined with Star System in 1999.

While still basking in the Fuchsia Bandana glow, out came stable mate Savanarola who charged home from 10th on the corner to win the Tabtouch-Home Of Racing & Sport Handicap (2000m).

In a tight finish with a long neck separating the first three runners, Savanarola defeated fellow backmarkers Balmaya and Ultimate Success.

Savanarola , who has struck a purple patch of form with three wins from his past four starts, gave apprentice Jordan Turner, the second leg of a riding double.

The emerging young talent went searching for the lead earlier on Flying Roar who fought on strongly after looking vulnerable half way down the straight.

Turner shared the riding spoils with Lucy Warwick who extended her lead in the apprentice title after Wink And A Nod scored effortlessly and Vital Importance survived a three wide run and protest in the last.

Given a huge task by Warwick’s trainer father, Justin, Wink And A Nod stamped her class when she lumped 60.5kg to effortlessly win the Westspeed Nominations Close July 17 Handicap (1200m).

Making light work of her impost the McFlirt mare stalked Hop On Hop Off before cruising past and defeating that leader by an imposing 3 3/4 lengths.

“I knew I was asking her to do a task,” said Justin Warwick.

“I know she is really good but I haven’t had anything to compare her with over the 1200m that I have trained.

“She won a bit easier than I thought but she had a beautiful ride and jumped well.

“She is a very talented horse.”

Sujet enhanced his fresh record with an outstanding return win against a cracking line up in the Tabtouch Sprint (1000m).

Circling the nine horse field from last, the Simon Miller-trained gelding charged home with a brilliant finishing burst.

Ridden by apprentice, Joe Azzopardi, the son of Vital Equine held a 1 1/4 length margin over Petrol Power who bloused out favourite, Rebel King for second.

“He has an unbelievable fresh record and is the real deal,” said trainer, Simon Miller.

Julio Santarelli