Cradle Me upstaged the short-priced favourite Ghisoni to record an upset victory in the 2016 Dane Ripper Stakes at Eagle Farm this morning.
Cradle Me received a lovely run from the inside gate with Zac Purton in the saddle, while Ghisoni was the second last horse out of the gates and was caught three wide throughout the race.
Purton bided his time patiently on Cradle Me as Jessy Belle hit the front from Elegant Composure, but a rails run opened up at the 200 metre mark and the Easy Rocking mare sprinted strongly to record her first win for her new owners.
The Hong Kong-based hoop revealed after the race that he learnt Cradle Me only had a short sprint from riding her in the Glenlogan Park Stakes and it was his aim to hold her up for as long as possible in the Dane Ripper Stakes.
“We had a lovely gate and had a nice run in the race,” Purton said.
“I rode her last start and she only has a short sprint, so I was able to track up in behind them and I just waited.
“It played into our favour and the track is riding really, really well.”
Cradle Me is a seven-year-old mare, but she is arguably racing in the best form of her career and her victory in the Dane Ripper Stakes caps off what has been an outstanding season to date.
She took out the Listed Razor Sharp Handicap (1200m) at Royal Randwick on December 12 and she proved that was no fluke when she won the Listed Canterbury Classic (1200m) at the same venue on Boxing Day.
She started her autumn campaign with a string of credible performance in the Group 3 Wenona Girl Quality (1200m), Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) before she finished third behind Clearly Innocent and Music Magnate in the Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) before he second place effort behind Ghisoni in the Glenlogan Park Stakes.
Ghisoni was unable to make up a great deal of ground in the final stages of the Dane Ripper Stakes and she could finish no better than a disappointing fifth, with James McDonald revealing after the race that she felt a bit awkward on the Eagle Farm surface.