Toowoomba flyer Azzaland broke a distance hoodoo and opened a few winter carnival doors with a stunning win at Doomben.
Azzaland’s victory gave jockey Shane Scriven his second winner for day when the six-year-old scored by 1-1/4 lengths over Faster Son in Saturday’s Listed Bribie Handicap (1200m).
Casholet boosted her broodmare value with a black-type placing, finishing only a short half-head away third.
Scriven was given no riding instructions by trainer Richie Stephenson other than to jump first and finish first on Azzaland who had two previous failures over 1200 metres.
“I always had some doubt about him at 1200 metres so I left it up to Shane how best to ride him,” Stephenson said.
“I just told him to jump first and finish first.”
Stephenson has previously nominated the Listed Lightning Handicap (1000m) at Eagle Farm in June as the main target for Azzaland whose win took his record to 12 wins from 19 starts.
His record could be far superior had he not spent a year off recovering from surgery two remove spurs from both forelegs last year.
“He’ll win a good race someday and hopefully it will be one of those good ones during the Brisbane winter carnival,” Stephenson said.
“Now that he’s shown me he can run 1200 metres I’ll aim for some of those better races in the winter but I’ll stay clear of Peter Moody’s good one (Black Caviar).”
Earlier tough Gold Coast mare Femina Fashion booked a weight-for-age campaign during the winter with a dominant victory in the Led Superscreens Handicap (2040m).
Femina Fashion, ridden by Scriven, surrendered the lead to Humma before getting the upper hand over the final stages for a length win over the fast-finishing Shuffle The Cash.
Scriven is booked to ride Perth warrior Scenic Shot throughout the winter but had no hesitation recommending Femina Fashion target next month’s Group Two Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast.
Trainer Trevor Whittington believed a loose plate was responsible for the mare’s previous defeat at Rosehill when she finished ninth to Galizani on March 26.
“There’s not much around for her in the winter without going to weight-for-age,” Whittington said.
“She’s a specialist over 1800 metres and hasn’t been beaten over it so she’ll probably head to the Hollindale Stakes and then the Doomben Cup provided she pulls up well.”
Scriven backed Whittington even though he will be unable to partner her in the winter features.
“I’ve got a soft spot for her. She’s tough and can run,” Scriven said.
“She’s earned a crack at those races but I won’t be around for her.
“I’ve got two favourite horses. She is my favourite girl and Scenic Shot is my favourite male.”