Losing his claim hasn’t slowed down apprentice Regan Bayliss, who has notched his second stakes winner in the first couple of weeks of the new year at Flemington.
Bayliss outrode his claim with a winning treble at Flemington on December 17 and has ridden eight city winners since including the feature on Saturday, the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes aboard Grande Rosso for his bosses Lindsay Park Racing.
His victory came on a day when apprentices dominated the meeting at Flemington.
Bayliss also claimed the Listed Bagot Handicap at Flemington on January 1 aboard the Stuart Webb-trained Annus Mirabilis.
Grande Rosso began his career with the now-disqualified Mark Riley and was transferred to Lindsay Park trainers David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig in October after one run for Wez Hunter.
Five-year-old Grande Rosso’s showed his liking for the 1400m as he sprinted to a 1-1/4 length win in Saturday’s race, his third win over 1400m in five starts since joining Lindsay Park.
“He used to be a real nervous horse but with each run he just keeps taking the next step and keeps improving,” Bayliss said.
“When I banged him outside the leader he then came back underneath me really well, reserved his energy and when I asked him for an effort he was strong right through the line.”
Dabernig said the Chester Manifold had been in their sights with Grande Rosso, which was runner-up in the Christmas Stakes over 1200m last-start.
“We hadn’t looked too far beyond today because we targeted this race a bit,” Dabernig said.
“We dropped him back to the 1200 metres last start with this in mind.
“He’s a real 1400-metre horse.
“He really ran up to his looks. You wouldn’t get a horse looking any better and he really loves the 1400 metres.”
Grande Rosso has won over 1600m, but Dabernig believes he is better over the slightly shorter journey.
“Everyone thought he was more a miler, but in our experience over the longer trip he pulls, whereas in these races he just drops the bit and quickens,” he said.
Grande Rosso crossed over to sit outside leader Top Me Up early before easing back when Hell On Earth moved around to be outside the lead.
Grande Rosso ($4.40) set out after Top Me Up in the straight and hit the front passing the 100m before holding out Zupacharged ($31) by 1-1/4 lengths with the same margin to Sold For Song ($8.50).