Starspangledbanner Sprinter Wins G2
The $300,000 Group II VRC Bobbie Lewis Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday produced a hectic finish with exciting gelding Star Patrol (5g Starspangledbanner x It's The One, by O'Reilly) producing his A game to win by a head over King of Sparta with race favourite Benedetta a head away in third place.
The Clinton McDonald trained gelding was first up from a spell, but a recent five and a half length trial win at Cranbourne indicated Star Patrol was ready to go and he duly lived up to expectation.
Ridden by Ben Melham, Star Patrol burst clear of the pack and had just enough left to hold off the challengers taking his overall record to five wins and five placings from 15 starts with prizemoney in excess of $528,000.
"It was a bloody long straight," said McDonald, who had to endure a protest from runner-up King of Sparta, which was dismissed by stewards.
"I know that they were burning along up front, but those speed horses dropped off.
"He was left there for a fair while out so for a first-up run it was a great effort.
"He'll come on from that, and that race will give him a lot of confidence.
"He'll know that it's not hurting him, and I think he'll be a happy horse."
McDonald indicated he would return to Flemington for the Group II Gilgai Sprint (1200m) at Flemington on October 7, and possibly Group I Champions Sprint (1200m) at Flemington on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
A $78,000 Inglis Classic purchase from the Lustre Lodge draft for his owner P Ma, Star Patrol is the first winner from It’s One, a handy Melbourne metro winning daughter of champion sire O’Reillly from the family of speed machines like Hips Don’t Lie, Splintex and Acrobat, whose first foals are impressing at Coolmore this spring.
He traces back to stakes-winning Jungle Boy (GB) mare Getting There, who is also the sixth dam of Griff, who won the Listed Exford Stakes earlier in the day at Flemington.
Star Patrol is the first Aussie stakes-winner of the new season for Starspangledbanner, who is back in Australia this spring at a fee of $33,000.