Mat Ellerton equalled his best day at a metropolitan meeting when he completed a hat-trick of wins with Utah Saints who was aided by a brilliant ride by Chris Symons to take out the Pink Ribbon Cup at Caulfield.
The God’s Own four-year-old landed his first Listed victory in the $100,000 1440m event having been placed three times previously at that level.
Ellerton, who now trains in partnership with his cousin Simon Zahra, said it had been a long time since his last city treble.
He gave Utah Saints a liven up by schooling him over jumps at Flemington during the week.
“He’s a worthwhile horse and tries hard and he saw a few hurdles during the week which smartened him up a bit and he found the line well,” the trainer said.
He said Utah Saints didn’t appreciate the inside gate when ninth to Smokin’ Joey in the Group Three Victoria Hcp (1400m) at Caulfield on April 7 and was better off jumping from barrier nine on Saturday.
Symons managed to cross to the inside on Utah Saints ($15) behind the leader Dusty Star ($11) and he got up to beat that gelding by a short neck with Freereturn ($5.50) 1-1/4 lengths away third.
“He’s been going well and possibly the inside draw wasn’t that good last time and we were quite happy when he drew out today,” Ellerton said.
“He doesn’t like being cluttered up and Chris gave him a very good ride.
“He doesn’t like pressure on his outside, that’s him.
“He’s a smart racehorse but he’s no star.”
Utah Saints was third up from a spell having run third to Outlandish Lad in a Listed 1200m race at Moonee Valley when resuming on March 16.
“We’ll stay in the same sort of class. He won’t get to great heights, this is his right class in which he’s competitive,” Ellerton said.
Earlier, Ellerton and Zahra scored with two-year-old filly Kolonga ($13) ridden by Andrew Mallyon who was making her debut in the Hyland Race Colours Hcp (1000m), and Star Of Giselle ($4.60 fav), handled by stable apprentice Damian Lane, in the echucamoama.com Hcp (1600m).