Samizdat’s outstanding Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) victory at Ascot on Saturday was tribute to a trainer’s bold approach, a jockey who grasped his opportunity and a leading owner-breeder that deserved a change of luck.
Time was fast running out for Samizdat to qualify for the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m), so trainer Chris Gangemi rolled the dice, went for a crucial gear change and ran the four-year-old with blinkers for the first time.
It proved a masterstroke. The son of Not A Single Doubt responded in the manner that has had him so highly regarded since he was plucked from the 2017 Perth Magic Millions Yearling sale as the $325,000 sale topper.
Gaining a direct path to the Railway Stakes on November 23, Samizdat, sent out the $2.40 favourite, finished full of running from second-last position in the field of eight to overhaul and defeat Regal Power, the second-elect, by 1 ½ lengths.
“The opinion we have of him we thought he could match it with them horses,” Gangemi said.
“He had a few things in his favour, but he showed what was able to do.
“He was only average first-up and better second-up, but today (Saturday) he was really back on track and ran through then line strongly.
“I think he is looking for the mile of the Railway now.”
Brad Parnham gleefully took up the ride with regular hoop Jarrad Noske unable to make Samizdat’s allotted 54kg.
It was Parnham’s first major victory since returning from serious injury in September that all but threatened to end his riding career.
After fracturing a vertebra in his neck and undergoing spinal fusion surgery, the courageous jockey said he was happy to play his role for the Gangemi camp.
“I have to sort of pinch myself sometimes,” Parnham said.
“I’ve had a pretty good run since I’ve been back.
“I owe a lot to the Gangemi’s.
“Even when I was out with my injury they said there was always a spot in the stable.
“It was unfortunate for Jarrad (Noske) that it got too light a weight for him.
“But they showed a lot of faith to put me on today (Saturday) to get a horse into the Railway.
“I’m just glad that I could repay them.”
For Peter Walsh, managing part-owner and talisman of famed Western Australian thoroughbred and breeding outfit, Amelia Park, Samizdat’s victory helps ease the disappointment of the past couple of weeks.
Walsh was forced to retire Lady Cosmology after she damaged a tendon in the Northerly Stakes and high hopes for Rio De Mar at this year’s Ascot carnival has also been dashed due to injury.
“Lady Cosmology was the best horse I owned because she only ever raced in black type group,” Walsh said.
“We were expecting big things from her this year but unfortunately that happens.”
Walsh is hoping Samizdat and Achernar Star, prepared by Simon Miller, can end what has been an exasperating run at the elite level of racing.
“I’ve run seven runners up in a Group One and two thirds,” Walsh said.
“I will have a two-pronged attack in the Railway and the Kingston Town hopefully
“It will be Samizdat and Achernar Star and I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
“But you know racing, Group One’s they don’t give away.
“But I will have two good chances in the Railway.”