DESPITE a great start to Stony Creek’s first race meet of the 2021-22 season, the final four races were called off.
There was a section of the track approaching the 250m mark which was significantly softer than the rest of the track, which was rated a good four, Racing Victoria steward Dion Villella said on the day.
In race three, a horse faulted slightly getting to that section of the track, he said.
“And then in race four, Jason Benbow’s mount also faulted at that section of the track,” he told Racing.com.
That led to an inspection with stewards and jockeys preparing for race five.
Remedial works took place and the riders reviewed it again, but the majority voted not to proceed.
Stony Creek Racing Club CEO Adam Olszanski, speaking to Racing.com on the day, said it was no doubt disappointing for the owners and trainers in the last four races, but added he was not going to question jockeys who have to go out there and ride for themselves.
Despite the early finish, the first four races saw success for a range of trainers.
Three-year-old bay gelding Dunkerry, trained by Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young of Cranbourne, streaked to victory by five-and-a-half lengths in the Barmah Park Restaurant & Cellar Door Maiden Plate (1700m) with jockey Craig Newitt.
The punters’ favourite was followed by El Chilla and Tobytoff.
In the Fish Creek Hotel three-year-old Maiden Plate (1000m), trainer Craig Blackshaw’s bay gelding Obsessive Nature recorded a win for its first race, again with Privett, followed by Immortal Spirit and Blazing Bay.
The third race, Happy 40th Dan & Rob Maiden Plate (1100m), saw Santa Fe Rose, the punters’ top pick, comfortably take first place in a field of 12.
Trained by Matt Laurie, it was the four-year-old bay mare’s first race.
The final race of the day, O’Connell Motors Foster Fillies and Mares BM64 handicap (1100m), saw five compete after three scratchings.
Okay to Pay, trained by Phillip Stokes, recorded its third win from five starts at Stony Creek by 0.75L.