Stoneback backs up for dominant win at Sandown
18 Jul 2012 | Stoneblack showed off his superior constitution on Wednesday afternoon landing a dominant win at Sandown just four days after slogging through 2000m in the wet at Caulfield.
The hardy Robert Smerdon five-year-old could only manage fourth on the weekend, but proved far too classy at the Hillside course today, ploughing across the heavy track to win the Restricted 89 Handicap (1800m) by four lengths.
It was his eighth win in 63 career starts and just reward for a lengthy campaign which started back in March.
“He takes no harm from racing,” Smerdon said.
“He has a great constitution and his performance today was better than the one four days ago, even though he’s dropping in grade.”
Just 11 days ago Stoneblack was well beaten in the listed Winter Championship Final (1600m) at Flemington, but the son of Danzero never lost his confidence.
On Wednesday he settled fourth and cruised behind the leaders before hitting the lead 200m from home and exploding away.
You Think So ran second under Luke Nolen while Mosseltov was third.
“He got into a lovely spot and just travelled beautifully for me in the run,” jockey Thomas Sadler said.
“Coming into the straight there was obviously still a long way to go so I just tried to cuddle him for as long as I could.
“I knew I had the leaders covered but it was just a matter of something coming from behind.
“The way he was travelling he was never really going to get run over the top of.”
Smerdon said the horse would have a short break now, but he still had plenty of racing left in him over the winter.
“We’ll go to a [Restricted] 89, I think there’s one coming up soon at Mornington,” Smerdon said.
“This is about his right trip, the 1800 [metres] I think.”
The win was Smerdon’s 103rd for the season across three states, and his 94th in Victoria.
He collected two in Sydney over the autumn with stable superstar Mosheen, and has prepared seven winners in South Australia.