Most expected Saturday’s Listed A R Creswick Stakes to be a two-horse race but Adelaide three-year-old Riziz upset the supposed match race to prevail in the $100,000 race at Flemington.
Zamorar (Scandal Keeper) was the only runner expected to trouble the odds-on favourite Lady Melksham (Artie Schiller) in the Creswick Stakes but Riziz proved himself a major stumbling block for the favourites.
Riziz (Zariz) settled close to the speed before the gelding found plenty under the urgings of jockey Chris Symons to defeat Zamorar and Lady Melksham, giving Adelaide trainer Ken Sweeney his first Melbourne winner for more than five years.
“Ken's planning for the spring and around the Christmas races, so this was a bit of a trial for the little bloke and he's come through very well,” stable representative Paul Sweeney said.
“He doesn't come over here very often, unless he thinks he can win.”
Riziz defeated Zamorar by a long neck while Lady Melksham finished another 1-1/2 lengths away in third. Riziz covered the 1200 metres in the reasonable slow-track time of 1:10.88, which included a last 600-metre sectional of 34.58 seconds.
Riziz started at $21 on track while his backers received a win dividend of $21.20.
The gelding is one of three Stakes winners sired by Zariz. Riziz did not pass through the yearling sales ring but Paul Sweeney lauded the three-year-old’s breeding.
“He (Ken Sweeney) raced his mother and trained his mother, he has got the whole family and they all seem to go very well in this sort of grade,” he said.
“He is just tough as nails. He’s a bush-bred horse and he’s just tough.”
The victory was Riziz's fourth from nine starts and took his prizemoney tally to more than $220,000 for his owners - K Sweeney, R Richmond, M & Mrs J Mace, D Mussared, Mrs G Smyth, Mrs C Adams, Ms T McGrath and D Cummins.