In a race to the big time, Rodd defies Appearance

In a race to the big time, Rodd defies Appearance

Nanjing Night Net

MICHAEL Rodd has been the big group 1 player this spring but by mid-afternoon on Saturday he was starting to wonder whether his carnival was jinxed.

Remarkably, Rodd had ridden placegetters in eight of the 12 group 1 races in Melbourne so far this spring and his last hope for a win at Flemington on Saturday was the $41 chance Appearance in the Myer Classic.

”I really can’t believe it,” the 30-year-old jockey said, shaking his head after the race. ”To have gone so close on so many good horses and then to win on an outsider.”

After earlier group 1 placings on Jolie Bay (second) in the Coolmore Stud Stakes and then on Super Cool (second) in the Victoria Derby, Rodd was legged aboard Appearance in the Myer Stakes by Sydney trainer Guy Walter.

She was rated some lengths inferior to stablemate Streama, who was sent out the $3 favourite, but by the time the field had turned for the run home, Rodd was starting to think that a boilover was on the cards.

”I knew they had gone pretty hard up in front and I got my mare to the outside and thought she might be able to get close, but she kept building and building and by the time we’d got to the post, she was the strongest of them all,” he said.

”She really got her momentum up and finished really well.”

Before yesterday, Rodd had ridden in eight of the nine group 1 races held in Melbourne this spring for six placings, but he said he didn’t let that statistic worry him as he prepared himself for his four group 1 rides on Saturday.

”You quickly forgot about all those things when you go to the gates,” he said. ”I knew I was riding well and had been in the finish of a lot of big races so it was just a matter of time before it went my way and who’d have thought it would be on this mare. But I’ll take it.”

For Rodd, it was his second win in the Myer after his victory for Flemington trainer Mark Kavanagh aboard Divine Madonna five years ago. His only unplaced runner in the group 1s on Saturday’s program was the Kavanagh-trained December Draw, who showed none of his zip when well beaten in the Mackinnon Stakes.

Appearance was backed late from $51 to start at $41 and outgunned another fast finisher in Soft Sand ($10) to win by a long neck, with a head to Secret Admirer ($8) in third place.

Walter was as surprised as his rider with how the race panned out. ”I thought Michael rode a fantastic race – it was not the result I expected – but all praise for Michael and the way he handled this mare,” Walter said.

Walter explained that Appearance was not comfortable at Caulfield at her previous start.

”They went too slowly and she couldn’t get into the race but with the pace on here and with the big track, she was able to unleash her sprint,” he said.

As for Streama, Walter said she raced as though she was flat and may have come to the end of her campaign. Streama led into the home straight but was quickly swamped and tired badly to finish eighth.

Fellow Sydney mare Red Tracer shadowed Streama for the entire trip but she too knocked up badly.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.