Talented mare Queenstown scored her maiden black type race win with a strong victory in the 2014 Grafton Cup at the Clarence River Jockey Club.
There was very little tempo in the early stages of the Grafton Cup before jockey Jason Collett brought Hoylonny from the tail of the field to take up the running and inject some speed into the race.
Tim Clarke had Queenstown in a lovely position just off the throughout the run and he did everything that he could to keep rival Secessio wide and follow stablemate Travolta into the race.
Queenstown responded extremely well when asked for an extra effort by Clarke at the 350 metre mark and she stormed clear from the rest of the field to score a comfortable two and a half lengths win from Secessio and Noisy Ocean.
“It was my first go in the Grafton Cup and it is really nice to get back to these country carnival; its where I did my trade early on and to come back and win a country cup is a big thrill and to do it for Gai it is terrific,” Clarke said.
“It got argy bargy there, but I just didn’t want to be behind Noisy Ocean coming into the straight and I wanted to be on Travolta’s back because I knew that he would take me a long way, which he did.
“At the top of the straight when she was exposed she sprinted really well and it was a fantastic effort by the mare.
“It has been a great performance by everyone back at the stables and they have done a fantastic job.
“She was ready to go to run the 2300 metres out strong and she did that.”
Gai Waterhouse stable representative Des Fisher was happy with the performance of both Queenstown and Travolta and paid credit to the flawless ride of Tim Clarke, who has played a key role for the Waterhouse stable in the absence of leading jockey Tommy Berry.
“It did go to plan,” Fisher said.
“They were beautifully ridden both horses and the instructions were to move forward.
“There was no pace until Hoylonny went around them, but neither jockey panicked and Tim just peeled off the back in the straight and came past them.
“That is why we have those jockeys on.”
Queenstown has now scored five wins from 16 race starts and has a black type win on her racing resume after previously being denied victories at Group level in the Group 3 Angst Stakes (1600m), Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) and Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m).