The Goodwood: Surprise winner Saxatoxl now aims for Stradbroke Handicap

Leading trainer Tony McEvoy proved that dreams could come true no matter the odds when Savatoxl ($19) careered away to win the Group 1 Goodwood at Morphettville yon Saturday.

Saddling up three of the non-fancied runners in the race the Tony and Calvin McEvoy team were “hoping for the best”.

But a dream run through the inside and a brilliant ride from stable jockey Barend Vorster saw the five-year-old gelding etch himself into Goodwood history, accounting for Instant Celebrity ($5.50) and Gytrash ($2.70). Other leading pre-race hopes Behemoth, Kemalpasa and Beau Rossa finished well down the track in the field of 11, while Dirty Work was solid in fourth place.

Tony McEvoy, used to winning the big races, was stunned after the race.

“You know, I came here thinking and hoping to run well but wasn’t sure about winning,’’ McEvoy said.

“But here we are. It has been an incredible journey. To do that today in that class, well, he’s gone to new heights.

“The owners from Alice Springs kept telling me how the good the horse was but I just wanted to see it. Barend (Vorster) was fantastic. And to win it on home soil was just terrific.

“The horse has booked a ticket to Queensland now, with the Stradbroke likely.’’

Vorster, who has won 11 Group races in Singapore and South Africa, and now his second Group 1 in Australia (Sunlight in the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington the first) said he was thrilled to win at his adopted home course.

“It’s just a great feeling to win this Group 1, on this horse, for the McEvoys who have been great supporters of mine and my first in SA,’’ Vorster said.

“The horse gave me a great run and I felt so confident in the run.’’

Can you believe it!?

Savatoxl causes a huge upset in the Goodwood 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/dsgVSOMxO2

Savatoxl, bought in Alice Springs for $8000, has recorded 16 wins and three placings from 28 starts.

Two-year-old filly Heresy ($4.40) backed up from her strong Geelong debut (second) with a stylish win in the Group 3 David Coles Stakes over 1200m.

Sitting off the early pace, and under the guidance of star jockey Damien Oliver, the James Cummings-trained runner finished over the top of favourite Karacasu.

Magic Max was an eye-catching run in third place.

Oliver was impressed with his mount’s effort.

“She’s a lovely, strong filly and hit the line well,’’ Oliver said.

Meanwhile, the latest high achievers of Australian racing were inducted into the Hall of Fame last Friday night at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

Hosted by Racing SA the latest inductees included administrators Robert Charley and John Messara, horses Beau Vite, Red Anchor, Sailor’s Guide and Tie The Knot, jockeys Richard “Darby” McCarthy and William McLachlan and trainers Les Bridge and Guy Walter.

Racing ambassadors Subzero (1992 Melbourne Cup winner and long-time clerk of the course horse) and his owner Graham Salisbury received the Spirit of Racing award.

Team effort key for Lord Vladivostok

Leading South Australian trainer Michael Hickmott enjoyed another moment in the sun when the promising Lord Vladivostok charged home to win the 1600m Group 3 RA Lee Stakes.

With regular rider Jess Eaton sidelined through injury Todd Pannell took the mount, steering the $8.50 chance to a decisive win. The victory was the winner’s sixth from 15 starts, which includes four thirds.

Hickmott, who chalked up his second Group success this season, said it was a brilliant effort from the team.

“It was a great result, great horse and truly a team effort,’’ Hickmott said.

“This horse has been a credit to my entire team. Obviously Jessica (Eaton) could not ride the horse because of injury but just to have Todd on board was great. The horse is a great talent. His last race wasn’t his grand final, today was. He goes to the paddock now and maybe comes back in the spring and aim for a race like the Murray Bridge Cup.’’

Todd Pannell rode Lord Vladivostok to victory in the RA Lees Stakes. Picture: Atkins PhotographySource:Supplied

Dr Drill and Vassilator battled on for the placings with Oh Mo ($101) producing a much-improved run to take fourth.

Brooklyn Hustle had to wait 286 days to make it to the winner’s stall but it proved worth the wait with victory in the 1200m Group 3 TAB Proud Miss Stakes – its first Group success.

The striking mare was ridden a cool, calm race by star jockey Jamie Kah to back up a strong showing in the Sangster Stakes. In the Proud Miss Brooklyn Hustle, backed in to $2.45 favourite, stalked the leaders, enjoyed a saloon passage through the field on the turn and won in style from Wild Vixen and Humma Humma.

Rubisaki, a drifter in the market at $2.80, looked to have every chance sitting off the pace and ahead of the winner in the run but was beaten well before the finish.

Co-trainer Jason Warren was thrilled with his charge’s run which now has three wins and two placings from 15 starts.

“She put the writing on the wall in the Sangster but you always want to see them get the job done,’’ Warren said.

“She’s terrific. Jamie rode a very good race. Now we will aim for the Group 1s in Brisbane.’’

Originally published asSavatoxl shocks fancies in Goodwood

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