Sabotage after his win in The Valley's Summer Sprint Series Final (Image: Racing Photos)
Warrnambool horseman Symon Wilde landed a one-two punch in Friday night’s The Drain Man Summer Sprint Series Final (1200m) at The Valley as former Kiwi Sabotage edged out Sister Kitty Mac in the $100,000 feature.
The removal of blinkers and an inspired steer from Ben Melham were key factors in the win, as the son of Savabeel launched at the furlong to get the better of his four-year-old stablemate, with Lindsay Park’s Highland Beat close-up in third.
The win was the Sabotage’s first since arriving in Australia and prompted Wilde to identify his hometown sprint showpiece, the Listed Wangoom Handicap (1200m) on the second day of Warrnambool’s famous May Racing Carnival, as a potential target later in the campaign.
“He was slow away at Flemington and then he was slow away here last time so we just thought that taking the blinkers off would help him jump and I think it did,” Wilde said.
“He drew a good gate and he got all the favours tonight.
“Hopefully he can go on with it, I don’t know exactly what we’ll do with him, I’ll just have to have a chat with Geoff (Nicholls) the owner.
“I think he’s good in wet ground so something like the Wangoom could be a target.”
All honours were with Jamie Kah in the night’s other series final, the $100,000 EJ Whitten Foundation Summer Stayers Final (2500m), after she got the luck aboard Lindsay Park’s consistent mare Raindrops On Roses ($7).
Kah box-seated the six-year-old from barrier one and when leader and race favourite Diamond Grace left the rail at the top of the straight, the daughter of High Chaparral was able to sprint quickly along the rail and put more than a length on placegetters Gilchrist ($21) and Poppiholla ($6).
The reigning Adelaide Jockey Premiership winner said her riding had improved thanks to regular trips over the border in recent months.
“She just needed a good run tonight and I was really happy when Steph (Thornton) crossed us because it was the horse (Diamond Grace) I wanted to be following,” Kah said.
“They’ve (Lindsay Park) have been given me a lot of opportunities lately so it’s really nice to get another winner up for them.
“It’s been great coming here (Melbourne) lately and I think it’s really made me step up my riding, especially riding against some of the best riders in Australia.”