Stephen Baster has gained some compensation for losing the Australian Cup on protest with victory in Adelaide’s premier staying feature.
Baster rode Purple Smile to a dogged win in Monday’s Group Two Adelaide Cup, one of a handful of feature races in Australia run over the 3200 metres of the Melbourne Cup.
The jockey lost Saturday’s Group One race at Flemington when Awesome Rock was demoted to second behind Preferment.
But the smile was back on his face after the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained Purple Smile held off Tunes to win by a short head at Morphettville.
“It’s definitely a consolation,” Baster said.
“I’ve been in racing a long time and there are ups and downs and you’ve got to celebrate the ups.
“It did hurt to run second in the Australian Cup but it was a fantastic effort by this horse. He dug deep.”
The race was Purple Smile’s first attempt at stakes class and his win gave his sire Zabeel yet another staying feature.
Dabernig said the win was timely given he and Hayes were re-opening an Adelaide base to complement their stables at Flemington, Euroa and Randwick.
“I must admit we came in not all that confident,” Dabernig said.
“I thought he was a long shot from the outside gate but he is a Zabeel.
“He sat wide and didn’t have a lot of favours but he’s a very tough, genuine horse.
“We are about to set up a small stable in Adelaide because we have a lot of horses we think will suit Saturday racing here.”
Purple Smile ($16) raced in a handy position and got the better of Tunes ($41) in final 200 metres with the favourite Real Love ($2.35) making a late run to finish another long neck away third.