Promising colt Sports Edition broke through for his maiden race win with a professional performance in the 2014 Hampden Stakes at Eagle Farm this afternoon.
Sports Edition was having just his second race start, after finishing second behind Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) contender Almalad in the TAB Early Quaddie Plate (1200m) at Royal Randwick on May 24, and was given a perfectly timed ride by jockey Tommy Berry.
Pinch River set the tempo in the early stages of the race, but was unable to repeat his all the way win in the Listed Dalrello Stakes (1200m), and Sports Edition hit the front at the 100 metre mark before holding off the fast-finishing Limehills and Freezethemillions in the final stages of the race.
The in-form Berry was having his first ever ride at Eagle Farm and was clearly happy to have started Stradbroke Handicap Day with a strong win on such a promising colt.
“It is a beautiful big track and I had a look at it when I walked it and it is quite a long straight, so I was very conscience to hold my bloke up a bit down the straight and he just proved way too good for them,” Berry said.
“He is a stunning type and he has always had a lot of ability.
“He has taken a little bit of time to grow up and mature, but Mark (Newnham) said that he was very much on his toes in the mounting yard the other day, but he was a lot more relaxed today and that was the difference.”
Berry has a full book of rides at Eagle Farm this afternoon, including three leading chances in the Group 1 events, and the in-form hoop is hopeful that he can return to Hong Kong tonight with a few more feature race wins to his name.
“I have Elusive Runner in the Derby, Rebel Dane in the Stradbroke and Almalad in the two year olds races,” Berry said.
“I have a pretty good day and hopefully that this is just the start of it.”
Berry will need to be at his very best to steer Rebel Dane to victory in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap and the California Dane entire has continued to drift in betting markets for the $1.36 million event.