Prebble wins it the Smart way
Brett Prebble got an early mark and a double that was enough to take the Jockey Challenge on a low-scoring day when things didn't work out for hot-favourite Douglas Whyte.
Whyte had to make do with a single win after being long odds-on in the Challenge betting at the start of the day, Prebble landed on the right foot with the opening Class Five winner Winner Smart for Manfred Man Ka-leung and then put a positive ride to good use on Flying Unicorn for Tony Millard in the ninth.
With both Whyte (Dr Super) and Prebble keen to lead, the pair stretched the race out lengths in front of their rivals early before slackening the tempo in the middle stages, but three-year-old Flying Unicorn had enough to scramble home from the late finishers.
'It was my intention to lead - he's a big, one-action sort of horse and Tony didn't want me getting in behind horses and cluttered up where he could lose his action,' Prebble said. 'I was happy to push Dr Super early and then went after him early as well and my horse kept on kicking. He isn't there yet, but in six months time I think you'll see a pretty good horse.'
No such hopes for Winner Smart as Prebble maintained his record as the only jockey to have won on the gelding. The Australian was on board when Winner Smart won on his debut in February 2009 and then again when he won in May 2010, so he has a knack with the gelding, albeit with wins well-spaced.
Winner Smart recently dropped to the cellar grade and seems to have found a liking for the all-weather, so it might not be over yet.
'The inside gate helped him because when he's out on a limb, like he was the other day, he gets uncomfortable and he won't track properly,' Prebble said. 'And he either needs the speed right on, so he can finish on, or like it was today, slow so he can travel up and the blinkers helped him there. Everything went perfect but he seems to like the dirt and I still think he could snag another one in Class Four.'
That pair and a second in the main race with Lucky Nine was enough to earn Prebble 30 points and the Jockey Challenge, and having the 10th race off saw him home in time to watch Berio score on television.