Trainer Steve O’Dea finally had some big-race luck and was rewarded with his second win in the Listed Sunshine Coast Cup.
O’Dea has had a good season with winners for Scallopini’s owners, the Jamie Walter Proven Thoroughbreds syndicate, but luck has deserted them in the summer carnival.
All that changed when jockey Boris Thornton gave Scallopini ($5) the run of the race before scoring by a long head to Niccanova ($9.50) over 1400m on Saturday.
Victorian Persauder ($31) was a short neck back in third.
O’Dea, who won the Cup for Proven Thoroughbreds in 2017 with Sir Moments, wasn’t at the Sunshine Coast but stable foreman Matt Hoysted paid plenty of credit for the win to him.
“Steve has done a great job and been very patient with Scallopini,” Hoysted said.
“Scallopini really deserved this win. Nothing went right in the Magic Millions Snippets when Champagne Cuddles broke down and took him out of the race.
“He can go for a spell now and we will look at the winter carnival where hopefully he will take another step.
“Races like the BRC Sprint could suit him. But who knows he might even get to something better.”
Scallopini has now won eight races and been placed eight times from 20 starts.
Thornton, the brother of leading apprentice Stephanie Thornton, has worked hard to get his weight under control.
“That was my first stakes winner and it makes it all worthwhile. Things couldn’t have gone any more wrong last time but the connections have stuck with me,” Thornton said.
“It was great to share the win with Steph just after the race. She is a great support for me.”
James Orman said Niccanova had run his usual honest race and the big difference in weight told.
“There was 5.5kg between them so it was a big effort on a wet track,” he said.
Dale Smith said Persauder’s run had been good after racing in the worst part of the track.