The Peter Snowden-trained Skytrain relished the miserable condition at Warwick Farm on Saturday when he ploughed through the going to score a strong win in the $125,000 Group 3 Macarthur Tavern Southern Cross Stakes (1200m).
Skytrain skips over the heavy turf to win the Southern Cross Stakes, picture sportpix.com.au
Visibility was almost nil during the race prior but jockey Josh Parr summed up the victory and the importance of not cancelling the meeting in the post-race interview.
“I was praying this meeting kept going because I knew how much he appreciates (the heavy ground),” Parr said.
It what would normally be considered a horror ride, Parr jumped Skytrain out from the widest gate and basically held that position, just off the speed about seven or eight wide.
However, this wasn’t a normal track and Parr had his mount comfortable in what was a decent part of the track, with group 1 winning mare Streama (Bowman) on his immediate inside.
The field came around the corner with Skytrain still the widest runner but once they straightened up he quickly moved up out wide to take the lead and though Streama tried to go with him she couldn’t match Skytrain over the final furlong.
At the line the margin was a length and a quarter to Streama with a further two and a half to Onthelookout (T Berry) in third. The overall time was 1.13.57 and the last 600m was run in 36.92.
“I was a bit worried when he was caught out wide because I was hoping he would get a little bit of cover, but Josh knows him and he has won well,” stable representative Brad Widdup said.
“Christian (Reith) has been riding him and has been happy with his efforts, even last start when he got beat because he didn’t shirk the task; he has done great.
“He has been a good money spinner for us and he has been racing well.”
“He loves the wet track,” Parr said. “I said to him at about the 400m, ‘Skytrain, how do you feel? You are going half paced next to a group 1 winner.’
“He went real easy the entire race, he let down nicely and as I said, he just loves the wet track.
“I am pleased to win on him, it has been a long time since I have ridden him, but it was nice to get back on him.”
Skytrain is by Lonhro out of the Luskin Star mare Que Sera Sera and is owned by Sheikh Mohammed.
Photofinish, by ATC