Newcastle trainer Paul Perry sent Ragged Rascal to Randwick on Saturday and the three-year-old Denman colt lived up to his name for punters when winning the $140,000, listed Schweppes Heritage Stakes (1100m) paying $26.00 on fixed odds and $29.90 on the tote.
Ragged Rascal and Jay Ford head past the field, picture Sportpix.com.au
Ragged Rascal was last seen when second last in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes over 1600m in the autumn after similar results in a succession of black type races. He was prepared to resume with two trials, the last for a narrow second over 800m at Gosford on August 30th.
Jay Ford allowed Ragged Rascal to settled last from barrier five while up front Omar and James Innes Jnr led and with the $2.60 favourite Neutrality and Kerrin McEvoy outside they took the field to the top of the main straight. Charge and James McDonald tracked them in third.
At the 400m Ragged Rascal was last and giving away 5L. Ford eased the colt to the middle of the track and with clear galloping room set off on strong, sustained run that had them in front with 50m to go.
They then went away for a clear 1 1/2L win over Meryl (Epaulette) and Christian Reith with Charge (Zoustar) and McDonald third, the margin a half-neck. Neutrality was fourth a further 1/2L away. The time was 1.03.00 on the Good 4 track with the final 600m in 34.08.
“His work has been good, if you follow trial form his trials have been really good,” said Mark Rowland, stable foreman for Perry.
“He has bigger fish to fry I think. We will see how he pulls up. He needs it longer and he just sprinted well today.”
Ragged Rascal, out of the Al Maher mare M’lady Pedrille, will now head to Melbourne for the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) on September 30th.
The colt is owned by Perry and long-time stable owners the Gillard family. This was his second win from nine starts and with two second places he has earned stakes of $230,620. Perry said from Newcastle that they have always had an opinion of Ragged Rascal, hence his running in Group company in the autumn, with a spell and time the colt may have now stepped up to another level.
The win was a double for Ford after he won the TAB Highway Handicap (1000m) with the Matthew Dale trained Sei Stella.
Jay Ford, picture Sportpix.com.au
Heritage Stakes, photo finish picture ATC