134 years of history was broken when Katelyn Mallyon became the first female to ride a Group 1 winner at The Valley, when the lights went out on the 20th Night Racing Season on Friday night.
The 92nd running of the $500,000 Keogh Homes William Reid Stakes (1200m), won by Silent Sedition, provided Caulfield trainer Andrew Noblet and jockey Katelyn Mallyon with their first Group 1 triumphs with a narrow victory over the Darren Weir trained Hellbent.
“It’s just so good to be a Group 1 winner, it’s all I’ve ever wanted. I can’t believe this, I’m just so over the moon,” an elated Mallyon professed post-race.
Silent Sedition joined an honour roll that includes some of Australia’s finest sprinters with Black Caviar a dual winner of the event, while the mighty Manikato made the race his own with five consecutive wins between 1979-1983.
The second last of 128 races under lights this season put a cherry on top of what was a terrific Night Racing Finale.
Group 1 winning mare I Am A Star couldn’t have been more impressive taking out the $200,000 Group 2 William Hill Sunline Stakes (1600m) by 3½ lengths for Shane Nichols and Dean Yendall, while Oregon’s Day saluted in the $150,000 Art Series Hotel Group Alexandra Stakes (1600m).
The seventh series of the Inglis 55 Second Challenge came to an end on Friday night with victory to the John McArdle 955 metre specialist Beau Rada in a time of 55.29, not enough to knock-off clubhouse leader Sirbible. Colac trainer Russell Bell collected the $50,000 winning cheque with thanks to our partners at Inglis with a winning time of 54.84 – the second fastest time ever recorded.
“It is just a great concept for the trainer to get this bonus, if the owners have a good horse you’re running for great prizemoney, but for the trainers to get a bonus like this is a great idea and I can’t thank Inglis enough,” said Bell at the presentation.
Meanwhile off the track, the Miss World Victorian Preliminary Finals on the main stage we’re a main attraction as was the Beer Garden music entertainment from former AFL star Russell Robertson and Phil Ceberano.
It was also a fitting farewell to have racegoers given the rare opportunity to walk the track themselves after the final race, before track renovations began the following day. Many patrons took the opportunity to walk, run and even dance on the hallowed turf.
Thanks to all those who joined us throughout the 2016/17 Night Racing Season and we look forward to seeing you again in September to flick the switch and do it bigger and better next season!