Red-hot Rodd makes shock appearance in the winner’s stall

Red-hot Rodd makes shock appearance in the winner’s stall

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, he’d ridden placegetters in eight of the 12 group 1 races in Melbourne so far this spring and his last chance yesterday was the $41 chance Appearance in the Myer Classic.
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”I really can’t believe it,” the 30-year-old jockey said after the race. ”To have gone so close on so many good horses and then to win on an outsider …”

After 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 for the Myer by Sydney trainer Guy Walter. She was rated lengths inferior to stablemate Streama, which was sent out the $3 favourite, but by the time the field had turned for home, Rodd began to think 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 Saturday, Rodd had ridden in eight of the nine group 1 races in Melbourne this spring for six placings, but he said he did not let that statistic worry him as he prepared for his four group 1 rides.

”You quickly forget 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 … who’d have thought it would be on this mare. But I’ll take it.”

It was his second win in the Myer, having won for Flemington trainer Mark Kavanagh aboard Divine Madonna five years ago. His only unplaced runner in group 1s on the day was the Kavanagh-trained December Draw, which showed none of his usual zip when well beaten in the Mackinnon Stakes.

After riding Appearance in second-last spot, Rodd sent her to the outside in the straight and the mare, which was backed from $41 to $51 late, did the rest as she outgunned another fast finisher, 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,” he said.

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