Winterbottom Stakes: Elite Street causes boilover, Trekking fails again

Elite Street made the incredible leap from maiden to Group 1 winner in five months when he upstaged his rivals in the $1 million Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot.

Dan Morton, the only international Group 1-winning trainer in WA, claimed his first win at the elite level on home soil after taking the punt on setting Elite Street for Perth’s premier sprint.

One of the lowest-rated horses in the field, Elite Street defied his $31 quote and barrier 12 courtesy of a great ride by jockey Brad Rawiller.

It was an incredible high in just his second week riding in WA after relocating from Victoria.

Elite Street was his 25th Group 1 winner and fourth in WA. He won the first of his career on Niconero in the Kingston Town Classic at Ascot in 2006.

“I rode a horse for Lindsey Smith a Bendigo … and it came as a bit of a shock the next day when he said ‘look Brad, I think there’s a great opportunity for you over in Perth and basically give it a trial for a couple of months’,” Rawiller said.

“I’ve always had a great time when I’ve been here and I straight away liked the idea.”

Rawiller celebrated with a Frankie Dettori-like star jump off Elite Street in the mounting yard.

“The Winterbottom is one of the great sprint races in Australia and to get the opportunity was huge and when you can deliver, even better,” Rawiller said.

Elite Street and Brad Rawiller win the Winterbottom Stakes. Picture: Western RacepixSource:Supplied

The Street Boss gelding settled midfield and three-wide, but with cover, before launching a powerful sprint in the straight.

He snatched the lead from Rock Magic at the 100m and held off the fast-finishing Celebrity Queen to win by a neck.

Celebrity Queen ($13) was a touch unlucky after being held-up for clear running early in the straight.

Rock Magic ($31), the 11-year-old marvel, ran third for the third time in a Winterbottom.

Trekking, who was sensationally plunged into $1.75 favouritism, ran on from 11th on the turn but failed to figure when fourth.

Morton prepared Scenic Blast to win the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Lightning Stakes-Newmarket Handicap double at Flemington in 2009.

The former jockey, who also won three interstate Group 1s with Scenic Shot, was overcome with emotion after Elite Street’s victory.

He shared the triumph with his parents, former trainer Len and Annette, who own Elite Street with Anita Vale Stud’s Robert and Ann Anderson.

“It’s pretty special,” Dan Morton said.

“I’m trying not to bawl. Super proud of all my staff, they’ve done a super job coming into the carnival and the team’s being going beautiful.

“We sort of knew where we were at. In any other year we probably don’t gain a start in the race, so we were lucky to take our place, but he was a horse I thought had the ammo to do it.

“Brad rode him perfect. He landed three-deep with cover and coming to the corner I thought ‘geez it’s going to take a good one to get past him’.”

Originally published asOutsider simply Streets ahead in Winterbottom

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