Irithea wins Hawkesbury Crown and could head north
Trainer Bjorn Baker is dreaming big with tough mare Irithea who will be nominated for the Group I Stradbroke Handicap after breaking through for a stakes win at Hawkesbury.
The five-year-old was jumped straight to the front by Josh Parr in Saturday's Group III Hawkesbury Crown (1300m) and never relinquished her position.
The second favourite at $3.70, Irithea held off Multaja ($3 fav) by a length with Manicure ($4.40) another 2-3/4 lengths third.
"She is genuine and raced well last time when second to White Moss," Baker said.
"She's five years old and it'snot often you say a five-year-old is getting better but she is improving.
"She deserves a stakes win. She's very game.
"We'll have a bit of a think and might go straight to Queensland. I wouldn't rule out nominating her for a race like the Stradbroke and having a go."
Irithea had run in four stakes races before Saturday and recorded four minor placings including her recent second to White Moss in the Group II Sapphire Stakes (1200m) on April 13 at Randwick.
Three of her seven wins have been over the 1400m of the Stradbroke in early June.
Nominations for the Brisbane winter features close on Tuesday and Irithea's jockey Josh Parr said she would not be out of place at the carnival.
"She's a beauty," he said.
"When she finds the front she's got more heart than most. When they come at her she really finds. It was a good win and it won't be her last."
Stuart Kendrick backs a winner in emerging sire
Trainer Stuart Kendrick's support for first-season sire Better Than Ready was repaid when Jagged Edge won the Listed Dalrello Stakes at Eagle Farm.
In a tricky three-way photo which had most of the crowd divided, Jagged Edge ($6) beat Deep Sea ($3.40) by a nose with a short half-head to Oh Five Glory ($26) third.
Lyndhurst Stud's Better Than Ready has swept all before him this season with 16 individual winners and Jagged Edge was his third stakes winner.
He is also the sire of The Odyssey who won the $500,000 Aquis Jewel last month.
Kendrick was a big fan of Better Than Ready as a racehorse and bought several horses from his first crop.
"I got another five at the March yearling sales this year so hopefully I will be able to syndicate them now," he said.
"Jagged Edge is a very promising horse but I don't want to push him. He is a Darby syndicate horse and I will have a good talk with them to see if we push on into the winter stakes races.
"I will have a sleep on it and then decide next week."
The win completed a big week for jockey Jim Orman who rode his 500th career winner at Beaudesert on Thursday.
Jagged Edge's win was also his fifth stakes winner for the season.
"I am hopeful of riding overseas in the not too distant future and to win stakes races is a big help," he said.
Sydney trainer Mark Newnham said Deep Sea would return home for a break after his effort.
"I wasn't sure if he had won but it was a very good effort," he said.
Co trainer Will Hulbert said a wide barrier had probably cost Oh Five Glory a win and she would press on into the winter.