Victorian raider Ring The Bell ($3.80) produced a terrific all-of-the-way performance to score in the 2016 edition of the Listed Superstayers Invitational (710m) at Albion Park on Thursday night.
The Gerard O’Keeffe-trained son of Kinloch Brae and Absolute Stunna was the outsider of the four-dog invitational field in early markets, but was well fancied by punters in the lead up to the race given his strong Victorian form and unlucky performance in the Gold Cup Final two weeks ago.
Jumping from box three, the brindle chaser quickly found his way to the lead, crossing local hope Cyndie’s Magic and South Australian-owned Luna Jinx, with Gold Cup winner My Boy Brodie dropping out to the rear of the field. Both Cyndie’s Magic and Luna Jinx made challenges for the lead down the back straight, but Ring The Bell was equal to the task and drew away in the run to the line, holding a length and a half advantage over Luna Jinx ($2.50) at the finish in a slick 41.84 seconds. Local star Cyndie’s Magic ($3.00) produced a near career-best 710m performance but could only manage third, a further length behind.
All four chasers will likely be targeted at their respective states’ AGRA National Distance series to be run later this year, with the Grand Final to be held at South Australia’s Angle Park in late August.
For the winner Ring The Bell and his owners, the Four Frothys Syndicate, it was an eleventh win in thirty-nine starts with the $25,000 winner’s cheque taking his career earnings to just over $82,000.
It was a night to remember for Gerard O’Keeffe and the Four Frothys Syndicate, with Ring The Bell’s litter sister, Group 1 Sandown Cup winner, Bells Are Ringin’ taking out the Open 725m event at The Meadows. Blazin’ Bomber, another member of the litter, ran a fast-finishing third to the in-form Outside Pass in the Best 8 520m event on the Albion Park card, and trainer Darren Pattinson will almost certainly head toward next Thursday’s Group 1 Winter Cup heats.
It is shaping up to be a terrific Winter Cup series, and the locals look to have a strong hand to play in the series after the aforementioned Outside Pass ran a tremendous 29.76 to take out the top-grade race on the program. Tony Brett’s superstar youngster Thirty Talks also put his name firmly into the conversation with a stunning 29.69 win in the second event, his thirteenth win in seventeen starts.
‘Super Night’ was once again a success for the Brisbane Club, with races being held over each of the club’s five race distances.
Magic Angel for Ces Graham took out the 331m Open, running down Bill’s Magic in the last stride in 19.19 seconds. James Gallaway’s Dismantle took advantage of early trouble in the Open 395m event to score by two and a half lengths in 22.80. The 600m event saw a popular victory for the ‘Superdog’ with Rusty Dillon’s Big Easy Red leading all of the way from box four in a fast 34.84, resulting in a free drink for all patrons on course.