The famous Vinery colours took centre stage at Wyong’s One Stella Sunday meeting with the green and white vee featuring in the first two races.
Vinery, KiaOra Stud, Encompass Bloodstock, W Duck P/L and Werrett Bloockstock share the ownership of two promising fillies, Progression and Antelope, who both recorded their first wins.
Progression ($4), trained by Kris Lees and ridden by Glynn Schofield, powered home over the top of her opposition to claim a narrow victory in the 3YO Maiden Plate.
The All Too Hard filly is out of Group 1 winning mare Headway and was a $280,000 2016 Inglis Sales purchase.
The filly, who was having her second career start, looks to be headed for a bright future.
Schofield said there was a lot to like about Progression.
“She is a very new filly and was very scared of everything,” he said.
“It was hard to get her to the barriers in one piece. She did eventually settle down but there is still a lot to improve upon. “I liked the way she attacked the line.”
Lees stable representative Cameron Swan said it was very good to get a win for a horse as well-bred as Progression.
“She had a nice cart up on the back of the two leaders and hit the line really well.
“I think Kris will probably take her through her grades and she may even have a little break now.
“She will be a better horse over a bit of ground.”
Swan said it was nice to get a win for Peter Orton and the team at Vinery Stud who share the ownership.
Progression beat the Brett Partelle trained Perfect Style ($2.70), with the race favourite Versetto ($2.15) almost two lengths behind in third.
Patience paid off for trainer Gerald Ryan and the connections of $300,000 Not A Single Doubt filly Antelope after she recorded a win at her first start ridden by James Innes.
Ryan admitted to being “surprised” by the win in the 1350m Maiden.
“I didn’t come here today thinking she’d win but I’ll take it,” he said. “I thought she’d run well so it was a nice surprise.
“She’s a sister to Miracles of Life and she’s very fast but this filly has taken time and looks as if she’s going to get over a bit of ground. “The owners have been very patient. This is probably her fifth preparation, in and out, in and out.
“James has got to know her. She can be very funny with her action but he’s done a good job.
“I was surprised she got as far back as she did. Kerrin (McEvoy) rode her the other day and suggested we take the blinkers off her and go further with her.
“She went really well today. It’s probably best I’ve seen her galloping action. James said she had improved out of sight in recent weeks but you never know until race day.”
Joe Pride had double the reason to celebrate when Easy Eddie ($1.45) justified his short price to win the 1200m THE CAMP NORKET 1200m Maiden.
The victory was the first of a winning double for the Pride stable, with Discussions making it back to back wins to take out the 1200m Canadian Club Class 1.
Pride has a share in Easy Eddie, a Super Easy gelding and convinced several of his mates to race the three-year-old.
“It’s always a bit more nervy when you’ve got shares in them yourself,” Pride said.
“He’s by an emerging stallion Super Easy from a family I’ve had a lot of success with and we brought him down in Melbourne. He wasn’t an expensive horse and hopefully he can go on with it.
“I’ve got the impression he will run at least 1400m maybe a touch more if he learns to switch off and relax. They ran a good time here and it was a good win.”
Pride said the would take Easy Eddie along slowly.
“He’s always shown us a bit at home. He is still a very immature horse and in another six to 12 months he’ll be even better. “I love taking these geldings through the grades and we’ll see how he pulls up.”
Jockey Jay Ford described Easy Eddie as having “above average” ability.
“Hopefully he’ll learn something from today and take a bit of confidence from it.
“I think as we continue with him we will learn more about him and in time he will run seven furlongs.
“The beauty of him is when he is out the front he switches off and when challenged switches on.
“I like him. I like how he felt when I trialled him the other day and it’s nice to see him bring it to the races.”
Easy Eddie beat the Bjorn Baker trained High Point ($10), with Kim Waugh’s Oxford Gem ($6), third.
Discussions ($8) brought up the second leg of Pride’s winning double with a strong three length win.
The three-year-old Duporth gelding was having his sixth race start and coming off a win at Canberra on October 6.
“He’s an immature horse, he’s out of a Zabeel mare and when he puts it all together we’ve got a fair bit to look forward too. “He’s come a long way this preparation. He’s always shown a bit but been a difficult horse to handle and full credit to the team at home.
“He’s rewarded us with a couple of progressive wins and more to come for sure.
“I was saying to Ben Vassallo before the race that win, lose or draw this would be a good time to give him a break.
“He’ll fill out in time and make a very nice horse I’m sure.”
The Lees Schofield combination struck again in the STELLA ARTOISE ONCOURSE NOW Benchmark 60 with Turnberry ($2.15) a convincing two length winner.
The Snitzel colt is owned by a New Zealand syndicate that includes Lucia Valentina’s owner Lib Petagna.
He was a $250,000 purchase at the 2016 Inglis Easter Sale.
The three-year-old was having his third race start, debuting with a win at Scone followed by a second at Hawkesbury.
Glynn Schofield described Turnberry as “very tough.”
“He’s learning. I was flushed a bit wider than I wanted to be but he’s a big horse. I was a victim of circumstances but he was too strong in the end.
“His toughness showed through. He’s still improving but showed a lot of toughness today.”
Stable foreman Cameron Swan said Turnberry seemed to have the good quality that he “wanted to win.”
“It’s a good attribute to have, the key attribute in any racehorse. He really stuck his head out and wanted to win then. It was really good.” Swan said he expected Turnberry could also step up in distance.
“He’s pulled up well after his last two starts but we will leave it to Kris to decide if he has another run or is turned out.”
The win continued a great run for the Lees stables bringing up eight victories in three days.
Turnberry beat Damien Lane’s Spinning Gold ($6.50), with Krystal ($3.50) trained by John Thompson, three and a half lengths behind in third.
The Clarry Connors trained Dorf Star ($3.70) claimed victory in an exciting finish to the MAGIC MILLIONS AT WYONG DEC 21 Benchmark 72 Handicap.
Just over two and a half lengths separated the field of nine on the line, with winning jockey Josh Parr bringing up a double.
Dorf Star, who settled to the rear of the field, was brought down the outside in the straight finishing a short head winner over the Brett Partelle trained Trust Me ($4.80).
Parr said it was a good solid effort, particularly considering it had been hard to make up ground on the day.
“I’ll be honest I was slightly concerned with the position I ended up in. The way the tracks played today it’s been very on pace and extremely hard to make up ground,” he said.
“But it gave us a chance to settle in our position and he was there for me when I asked for him. When the horse came up beside him he stuck his head out and was very determined to win.
“It was a good solid effort. I was really pleased with him.”
Connors said Dorf Star had been racing well but he’d decided to drop him back in class to try and getting him winning again.
“It was like the charge of the light brigade coming out of the turn they were all over the track but Josh rode him well,” Connors said.
“He’s a nice little horse.
“I thought they’d be going pretty fast. We put him in a 1400m and he over races and pulls so I thought go along pretty quick and that would suit him.
“I said to Josh just pull to the outside and beat them. It sounds easy doesn’t it,” Connors laughed.
Connors also praised the Wyong track.
“I took him to Brisbane but he didn’t handle the soft track. I was a little bit worried today but a lot of compliments go to the people who look after Wyong.
“This is our best provincial track. This is a sensational track now days.”
Nathan Perry thanked long term stable supporter Tony Clift after Flying Rose took out the 1600m Metro and Prov Maiden Plate to record her first win.
Starting $2.50 favourite, the Stratum four-year-old scored a dominant two and a quarter length victory with Paul King in the saddle.
Flying Rose was having her third career start, coming off consecutive seconds at Newcastle on September 15 and October 7.
“It’s good for her owner Tony (Clift). He’s been a good supporter of the stable and I’m sure he’ll be at home with a big grin on his face,” Perry said.
“She ran a really quick time and really turned the corner.
“She knuckled down well. I was a bit worried when Gai’s skipped away. When your chasing a Waterhouse horse they don’t normally stop but it was a courageous effort.
“She’s definitely got the pedigree to go further and that’s an upside to her.”
Paul King said he considered Flying Rose could take out a mid-week metro race over 1800m to 1900m further in her career.
“She’s only had three runs and every run has been really good. She ran a really nice mile today and I won’t be surprised if she gets further.”
Delos ($2.60) for the Waterhouse stable finished second, with the O’Shea trained Ivoryman ($20) a half-length behind in third.
Josh Parr was full of praise for Bravissimo ($3.80) after the gelding put on a great front running display to win the Warren Clarke Memorial Class 2 over 1350m.
Parr had the four-year-old in the lead from barriers to finishing post scoring a length and and three quarter victory over Kim Waugh’s race favourite Calabasas ($1.90).
He was very complimentary of the son of Congrats, who brought up his second career win at his seventh start.
“He deserved every bit of that. I can’t remember the last horse I’ve ridden that was just willing to keep giving for the entire race especially when I went for him,” Parr said.
“When I went for him 400m from home and asked him to pick up and get into the race he was there for me and when we straightened I asked him again and the last 50m the same.
“Full credit to the horse. He was a sit and steer job for me today.”
The winner is trained by Les Bridge.
Gravitate ($10), trained by Jason Coyle was four lengths behind in third.”