Sunday Territorian 7 Mar 2021
Sunday Territorian; NewspaperNT
Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
SUNDAY MARCH 7 2021 SPORT 49 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA Luke Currie celebrates aboard Zoutori after their victory at Flemington. Picture: Getty NOTED homebody Zoutori stepped out the back door and into the Group 1 winners club with a determined effort under 57kg in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington. The 1200m start at Flemington is only metres from Zoutoris box at the Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra stable. Zoutoris prowess down the Flemington straight track landed him a pair of Group 2 wins over the Newmarket course in the spring. Zoutori was left to carry 57kg in the Newmarket Handicap after the withdrawal of previous topweights Nature Strip and Bivouac, who were in action in Sydney on Saturday. The conditions of the $1.5 million race require the topweight to carry a minimum of 57kg, forcing the weights for the entire field up 2kg. Zoutori carried 55kg when fourth to Bivouac in last years Newmarket. Zoutori coped with the weight rise best with the aid of a clever ride from jockey Luke Currie, who negotiated the tricky barrier four before setting the son of Zoustar to have the last crack at the leaders. BRAD WATERS ZOUTORI RIGHT AT HOME GROUP 1 wins are always special but this was a family moment to savour for Godolphin trainer James Cummings. Savatiano had held on to finally win at racings highest level in the $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick yesterday, holding off the late surge of Mizzy, trained by Jamess father, An thony. The two men embraced after the race. They have a friendly rivalry on the racetrack but family always comes first. Its a bit cruel isnt it, James said when asked what it felt like to beat his father in a feature race. Anthony Cummings didnt want to take the shine off his sons achievement: I congratulate him through gritted teeth! Savatiano ($3.80) gave Hall of Fame jockey Hugh Bowman (pictured) his 98th career Group 1 when she just held off Mizzy ($71) to win by a short half head, with Masked Crusader ($5.50) just over a length away third. Bivouac, a stablemate of the winner, was sent out the $3 favourite and did plenty wrong during the race before finishing fourth. Its rare for Godolphin to race such well-bred and wellperformed mares like Savatiano as six-year-olds, particularly after they had won five Group 2 races. But Godolphin were keen to give Savatiano another chance to finally win at Group 1 level. I think they have been thinking about retiring her for three seasons, James Cummings said. But she is now a deserving Group 1 winner. She had won over $2 million in prizemoney without winning that Group 1 so outside of (The Everest winner) Classique Legend there wouldnt be too many other horses around the world to do that. James too good for his father RAY THOMAS MICHAEL Gudinskis fellow owners have massive shoes to fill in the partying stakes after the late Australian music legends horse, Homesman, claimed a thrilling Australian Cup at Flemington. Gudinskis son, Matt, had the honour of leading Homesman back to scale as family and close friends and owners, including Nick Williams and Gerry Ryan, held back tears. The $900,000 first prize meant little. Instead it was the emotion of a final victory in partnership with their great mate, Gudinski, who died in Melbourne on Tuesday. The usually talkative Williams kept post-race comments short and to the point, as the impact of the weeks events became apparent. Theres only one Michael Gudinski! Williams roared. As Matt Gudinski hugged winning jockey Jye McNeil in the Flemington mounting yard, Williams, standing nearby alongside Jayco boss Ryan, looked up and pointed to the sky. Gudinski did it tough in the early days building up his Mushroom empire, traits the gutsy Homesman channelled to win the Australian Cup. Co-trainer Sam Freedman and jockey McNeil both paid tribute to Gudinskis racing legacy. He was very close to the family, Freedman said. Dad (Anthony) had some very fond memories with him back in the nineties and early 2000s. He (Homesman) certainly had some help out there. McNeil, who shared last years Melbourne Cup success on Twilight Payment with Gudinski, rode with a heavy heart. Its a very special win because we all lost Michael during the week, McNeil said. Condolences to his friends and family and he was definitely riding with me out there today. Homesmans emotioncharged victory was before 12,000 members and racing fans at Flemington, the largest post-COVID crowd on a Victorian racecourse since the corresponding meeting last year. Spiritual leader Gudinski, who led celebrations for three Melbourne Cup wins in the Williams family silks, unfortunately wasnt there to lead the charge to the nearest watering hole on Saturday night. But Williams vowed to do his mate proud. Gudinski galloper delivers encore GILBERT GARDINER AND BRAD WATERS Matt Gudinski. Winning Roar of delight a long time coming in a Group 1 for OShea TRAINER John OShea emerged from four years in the Group 1 wilderness when Lions Roar defeated a crack field of three-year-olds at Royal Randwick yesterday. Lions Roar came from near last to win the Group 1 $1 million Randwick Guineas (1600m) a triumphant come back for OShea who has had to rebuild his training career after leaving Godolphin back in 2017. It was a particularly satisfying moment for OShea as he had trained Lions Roars sire, Contributer, to win at Group 1 level while winning jockey Brenton Avdulla wore the Champion Thoroughbred colours of the trainers close friend and biggest stable supporter, Jason Abrahams. And to cap OSheas return to racings big leagues, OSheas parents are partowners of Lions Roar. I couldnt sell all of the horse but he was going well in his training so I told Mum and Dad to take a share and now those little owners from Cairns are Group 1 winners, too, OShea said. Might be something for the inheritance. Lions Roar ($26) came from near last on the turn to power past his rivals and win the Randwick Guineas by oneand-a-quarter lengths. Mounga ($5) was a desperately unlucky second and a Group 1 win for first season trainer Annabel Neasham is surely going to happen sooner rather than later, while the only filly in the race, Harmony Rose ($9) was a neck away third. The previously unbeaten Aegon ($2.60 favourite) was three wide but had cover and failed to attack the line with the same gusto he showed in the Hobartville, finishing sixth. We expected more from him, said Aegons rider Hugh Bowman. Stating the obvious but he didnt seem as happy today throughout the race. Lions Roar gave OShea his first Group 1 winner since the 2017 Doncaster Mile with Godolphins Its Somewhat. It was his second with Champion Thoroughbreds after Zabrasives 2010 Rosehill Guineas. He said the Rosehill Guineas (2000m) in two weeks was the next target for Lions Roar. RAY THOMAS