Owner breeder Nick Vass has had nine Group 1 victories in the past but classes the victory of Carzoff in the $160,000 Listed CARLTON DRAUGHT WYONG GOLD CUP as up with his best racing moments.
Vass was a four-time placegetter in the prestigious Cup when he had runners trained by Neville McBurney but shrugged off the bridesmaid’s tag with a great win by the six-year-old Zoffany gelding.
“To win a Cup, any sort of cup is exciting, it doesn’t matter where it is,” an excited Vass said.
“I own 20 percent and he races in my colours. I haven’t had a good win for the last two or three years so this is very special.”
Vass previous winners include champion mare Sweet Idea, Cheeky Choice and Electronic.
From the powerful Waller stable, Carzoff was the sixth Wyong Cup victory for the trainer since 2010.
It also capped off a great day for jockey Kerrin McEvoy, bringing up a winning treble and securing the highly sought-after Nathan Berry Shield.
McEvoy put in a pearl of a ride to secure victory, coming from the rear in the straight and weaving a passage through runners before pulling away to secure a length win.
Glen Barnes, representing the Waller stable described it as a “masterful ride.”
“Kerrin got the break just when he needed it and the horse did the rest, “he said.
“He’s been such an honest little horse and races consistently all the time. It’s good ot see him get a very nice race under his belt.
“He doesn’t mind the sting out of the track and he ran right up to his best today
“It’s good fun winning races like this. The owners will be very happy.”
McEvoy said early tactics had seen him further back in the field then he had planned.
“There was a bit of jockeying going on early and I had to sit back right behind them to get some cover.
“Past the mile I thought I’m well back here and I’m going to need some luck.
“Once the race was starting to develop I was able to funnel up in between them. “My horse gained a lot of confidence and was ready to go once I asked him. It was a nice effort by the Waller team and a great effort by the horse.
“He’s an honest horse who has been around the mark and his last run was good. “Today with 54kg on his back looked like a nice race for him to be competitive in and the rain sort of helped him and he was able to bring his best today.”
Carzoff, who recorded his fourth career win from 22 starts, beat the Waterhouse trained Dark Eyes ($9), with Taree Cup winner Shalmaneser ($21), trained by Richard Freedman, a half-length behind in third.
Godolphin galloper Savatiano will push forward to the spring full of confidence after resuming with a convincing win in the 1350m WINNING COMMERCIAL MONA LISA STAKES.
Both stable representative Darren Beadman and jockey Kerrin McEvoy were pleased with the filly’s performance, her fifth win from 12 starts.
“It’s not an easy task 1350m first up especially on a rain affected track but she trialled extremely well this time through and was as forward as James could get her leading into this race,” Beadman said.
“We said to Kerrin if you can be one, one or three pairs with cover it would be ideal, but the pace wasn’t that strong and Kerrin being the horseman that he is and good judge he is, he kept her rhythm happening and it was a very solid effort.
“It’s nice for this filly to get some black type beside her name. She deserves it.
“She’s got some pretty handy form and won very well at Randwick with last time in. There are bigger fish to fry for her in the spring.”
Beadman said there were plenty of options for trainer James Cummings to consider going forward.
“We will see how she pulls up from here and then decide where to take her, but we will try and stick with the fillies and mares races.”
The win brought up a double on the day for McEvoy, who said the Street Cry filly had done a good job to tough it out.
“It was a funny run race. Sometimes there are no rules. She wasn’t switching off and I didn’t have much cover, so I decided I better work with her and slide forward,” he said.
“They weren’t going as fast as I thought they would, but it paid to be on the speed.
“She didn’t switch off but did a good job to tough it out and win the race today.”
Shumookh ($5.50) from the Waterhouse stable was second, ahead of the Bjorn Baker trained Irithea ($4.20).
Smart Melody did nothing to dent her spring campaign expectations with a dominant win on resuming over the 1200m.
Carrying the famous Gooree colours, the Smart Missile filly brought up her third win from three starts in the BISHOP COLLINS ACCOUNTANTS CLASS 2.
Smart Melody ($1.40) was held up for a run in the straight before jockey Kerrin McEvoy steered her along the rails and onto a length and a half victory.
Trainer Kris Lees admitted he had a few nervous moments as they headed into the straight.
“Just on the corner when she was held up I was a bit nervous,” he said.
“But Kerrin made the right decision and switched her onto the rails and she was able to go on with it.
“I like the way she relaxed today. I’d like to think she will get to a mile. We are a long way off that, but she was good late.
“Any horse that shows you a bit over the winter you are a little anxious when they return in the spring and she’s a three-year-old filly taking on older horses.
“It wasn’t ideal, and the plan was to get off the fence but Kerrin’s hand was forced to go back to the rails. I think there were a lot of positives to the win.
“She does have a wet track profile so is one that can get through it, but she was on the worst part of the track and she was good through the line which is what you want going forward.
“There are some smart three-year-olds going around but I think she’s one of them.”
Lees said Smart Melody’s next start would be the Heritage Stakes at Randwick on September 15 or the Group 2 Danehill Stakes at Flemington on the same day.
McEvoy said Smart Melody was a “very smart filly” who was going to have a good spring.
Americana Magic ($12) trained by Grant Allard was second, with Ridicule ($4.40) from the Widdup stable three lengths behind in third.
Paul Messara’s impressive filly Panzerfaust is headed for the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes on the back of her dominant win the HC GROUP BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP.
The Redoute’s Choice filly, a full sister to dual Group 1 winner Panzer Division, scored a two and a half-length victory over the 1600m and always looked the winner courtesy of a great Tim Clark ride.
While Spring Champion Stakes is the next assignment for Panzerfaust, the Group 1 Kennedy Oaks at Flemington is a strong possibility.
“If she continues improving and racing well the Oaks is the goal, “ Messara’s stable representative Leah Gauranich said.
Clark settled the $1.55 favourite toward the rear in the early stages of the race, before circling the field on the turn for a sustained run in the straight.
“It was comfortable to watch and a comfortable win,’ Gauranich said.
“I thought it was an excellent ride by Tim Clark. She always travelled like the winner but Tim got her going early, swooped around them and put her into the race.
“Obviously with a potential Oaks prospect that’s what we want to see, to put them away like that.”
Gauranich said the filly would definitely head to the Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick on October 6.
The Waller trained Flower Of Love ($5.50) was second, with Cinderconi ($31) trained by Jason Attard, a half head behind in third.
Prophet’s Thumb will head for black type following her impressive win on debut in the 1200m BIOCHEM WATER F&M MAIDEN PLATE.
David Pfieffer has the Listed Heritage Stakes at Randwick on September 15 as the next start for the I Am Invincible filly, before a likely trip to Melbourne.
Corey Brown settled the $2.20 favourite mid-field, sweeping to the outside on the turn to hit the front before drawing away in the final stages for a length and a half win.
The Pfieffer stable had a good opinion of the filly coming into the race.
“She’s always shown us a bit of talent at home, but we’ve just had to be patient with her, not physically but mentally, stable representative James Ferguson said.
“It was a good ride by Corey and a nice educational day out for her. We are very pleased to see her win when we know what she’s been doing at home.”
Ferguson said if the filly pulled up well they would head to the Heritage Stakes.
Brown was also full of praise for the filly.
“She’s had a few problems and the ear muffs were on her today to keep her calm.” Brown said.
“She went well today and was in the perfect condition. She knew where the post was today and got the job done.
“She’s a nice filly.”
The O’Shea trained Lucky Helmet ($8) finished second, with Veranes ($3), from the Waller stable a close third.
A well-deserved win by the Gerald Ryan trained Rectitude who had put together a string of placings before breaking through in the 1200m SENPOS CG&E MAIDEN PLATE.
The Sepoy gelding had notched up a second and two third placings in his first preparation.
Tye Angland settled Rectitude just off the lead in a middling run race, with taking him to the front in the straight, where he held off contenders to score a half-length win.
The short-priced favourite Shinju ($2), from the Snowden stable had no luck in the straight, kept in a pocket in the concluding stages of the race and finishing third.
Ryan said Rectitude ($3.70) had been racing well.
“He’s only a little fellow and has run three placings prior to the race so it was good to see him break through.
“He was tough today and had race fitness on his side and that told in the end.
“He has done a great job this preparation. It is great for Sun Bloodstock because they’ve been getting a few placings lately, so it’s good for them to get a win.”
Ryan said it had been a good first preparation for the three-year-old, who was now likely to spell.
“He’s struck some smart horses and been in pretty good maidens, but he’s held his own.
“He had been sold to Hong Kong but he failed the height test so he’ll stay here now.
“I’ll probably put him out and hopefully he can grow a bit.”
Rock ($4.60) from the Hawkes stable was a half-length behind in third.
Inanup ($8.50) upset some of the more favoured runners to take out the 1600m
HC GROUP BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP in a close three way finish.
The Jarrod Austin trained gelding brought up a race to race double for jockey Tim Clark.
Resuming from a spell, the Bon Hoffa gelding scored his second win from just five starts, both at the Wyong track.
Brian Austin, representing his son Jarrod, said the key to the five-year-old was keeping him fresh.
“He’s very good first up. He’s been working well and he won first up last prep,” Austin said.
“He’s a good first upper, you’ve just got to keep him fresh. That’s the key to him.”
Austin was also complimentary of the ride by Clark.
“It was a very, very good ride. He can really lift them to the line. When it comes to it he can really push them out.
“Jarrod will probably put him away for a month now and then have a look at another similar race. He’s the sort of horse you just have to keep fresh.”
He said the father of one of the owners, David Andrews, wasn’t well and the win would be a real lift.
“He’s been with Jarrod from the day he started so it’s good to get a win for good owners.”
Inanup beat The Patrician ($12) trained by Robert Pearse, by a neck with Lady Of Shallot ($10) from the Lees stable third.