Secret Flyer’s capped his re-emergence as a sprinting force with a deserved win in Saturday’s $100,000 Listed Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield.
The Mark Young-trained gelding cracked half a million dollars in earnings when he powered over the top of a small-but-select field to score the second Listed win of his career.
It made it two wins from three starts since snapping a 16-race run of outs earlier in the year and left Colac-based Young proud of the rising eight-year-old.
“He’s got a lot of heart the horse, he really has,” Young said. “What he lacks in class he makes up in competitive edge.
The son of Secret Savings took his earnings to $527,523 with his 11th win of a 38-start career that has also generated nine minor placings.
The small field of seven meant Secret Flyer didn’t have to settle as far back as normal and when jockey Luke Nolen was able to find the back of $3.40 favourite Warm Love just a couple of lengths off the lead he always loomed as a major player.
Nolen peeled him over the leader’s heels rounding the bend and he let down in typically explosive fashion, powering away for a length with over Rue Maple ($13) in 1:04.37 with Warm Love holding on for third, three quarters of a length back.
Group 1 winner Gold Trail ($3.70) was ridden aggressively to find the lead, but was under pressure before straightening and had to settle for fifth, while Uxorious ($5 to $4.20) also enjoyed a cosy run just off the speed but failed to let down in the straight.
Nolen, who was having his first ride on Secret Flyer, said it was a great effort to run down the leaders given the tempo wasn’t breakneck – the time was almost three seconds outside Here De Angels’ track record – and he won with a bit in reserve.
“It was pretty easy in the end he probably had a look when he got there, because he was presented with the race,” Nolen said.
“Off the farcical tempo, I thought they’d be harder to run down at weight-for-age, but he rose to the challenge.”
The victory completed back-to-back Sir John Monash Stakes wins for Victoria’s premier jockey, who won last year’s event aboard the Peter Moody-trained Reward For Effort.
Moody didn’t have a runner in this year’s race, but he did manage to creep one win closer to the magical 100 metro winners for the season, claiming the final event with Mr Make Believe.
The white-hot gelding made it four wins in a row when he won the Bib Stillwell BMW Handicap, taking Moody’s city season tally to 97.5 winners with three metropolitan meetings to come before the July 31 close of the season.