Co-owner Christine Matton with her horse Sweet Reward the favourite in today’s big race at Callaghan Park, the Merlo Downs Capricornia 2YO Classic.
Co-owner Christine Matton with her horse Sweet Reward the favourite in today’s big race at Callaghan Park, the Merlo Downs Capricornia 2YO Classic. Chris Ison

Owners hope to for 'sweet success'

STANWELL racehorse owners Bill and Christine Matton are hoping it is a case of third time lucky and that they get their “sweet rewards” in today’s $134,000 Merlo Downs Capricornia 2YO Classic (1200m) at Rockhampton’s Callaghan Park racecourse.

Seemingly, most form students are in agreement that the Matton’s Private Agenda filly Sweet Reward, trained at Eagle Farm in Brisbane by David Murphy is justifiably the $3.00 favourite for the rich race.

Sweet Reward, which the couple purchased for $13,500 at Rockhampton’s Capricornia Yearling Sale on April 11 last year, has two important factors in her favour.

First and foremost she is to be ridden by leading Brisbane jockey Jim Byrne and secondly she has drawn the rails barrier, although the latter may not be all that important.

That’s because Sweet Reward gets back in her races as illustrated last start at Eagle Farm on April 23 when she came from last of 16 in running to finish a closing sixth behind Saraki over the shorter 1000 metres distance.

“It was a good run. Actually she missed a start a week earlier when she ran a bit of a high temperature. I think she will race very well,” Murphy said after arriving at Callaghan Park racecourse with Sweet Reward early yesterday.

What is certain about Sweet Reward is her capacity to run out the testing 1200m of today’s Classic as she won over that journey two starts back at the Sunshine Coast.

It is a crucial point, as Sweet Reward is the only starter in the capacity field of 16 who has won at the 1200m.

In fact, apart from the Fred Smith-trained King Ray (fifth over 1250m) none of the other Classic runners have ever contested a race further than 1100m.

Relative newcomers in racehorse ownership for a mere five years, the Mattons have however had two previous starters in the Capricornia Classic.

On May 3, 2008, their Piccolo filly Bouldercombe Mist trailed the field home in the race while last year their $5.00 chance Gemmar’s Girl gave them a thrill finishing fifth behind River Lad.

“I’m really excited about the race this year. I’m hoping Sweet Reward can do it for us,” Christine Matton said.

A win by Sweet Reward will boost the value of three other yearlings by Private Reward being offered by her breeders the Nolan family of Noralla Stud, Gladfield at the Magic Million Yearling Sale in Rockhampton tomorrow.

Leading form analyst, Rockhampton bookmaker Vince Aspinall regards the Classic as a “two horse” race – reference to Sweet Reward and another filly Bonny The Viper.

Unwanted in the sale ring last year and subsequently retained by a $4000 bid by her breeder Phil Hughes, Bonny The Viper (Garrison Savannah-Vonny The Viper) has won $38,775.

Given her brilliant acceleration from the barriers and sustained speed, Bonny The Viper should be able to overcome her wide barrier (14) and be either leading or close nearby throughout the race.

Last night at the Classic Dinner function at Rockhampton’s Cambridge Hotel, there was confidence about the prospects of Blackall-trained Kilwinning Option.

Trained by Kevin Birse, Kilwinning Option (Ryan Wiggins, $11.00) was being talked-up as the equal of his brilliant stablemate and top juvenile of last year – Fanciful.

 

2011 MERLO DOWNS STUD CAPRICORNIA SALES CLASSIC (1200 METRES)

1 – PRIVATE CHAT (16) Desiree Gill 56

2 – KILWINNING OPTION (4) Ryan Wiggins 56

3 – IMA REAL DUDE (3) Carly-Mae Pye (a) 56

4 – KING RAY (15) Brad Stewart 56

5 – BAYMORE (10) Adrian Coome 56

6 – MISTER TIPS (11) Trinity Bannon 56

7 – FERTIRO (9) Alisha Taylor (a) 56

8 – BACK TO WIN (18) Nathan Patchett 56

9 – MANHATTAN DANCER (13) Justin P Stanley 56

10 – BONNY THE VIPER (14) Cassie Priest (a) 54

11 – SWEET REWARD (1) Jim Byrne 54

12 – ADDA ROCKET (8) Luke Dillon 54

13 – CRYSTALS ON ICE (6) John Stephens 54

14 – GASPARA (5) Tracy O’Hara 54

15 – HOT SHOT SISTER (19) Dean Tanti 54

16 – HOUR WISH (21) Kelvin Wharton 54

17e – DAVANNA (12) Chris Whiteley 54

18e – DANDAR SAVANNAH (17) 56

19e – CLASSY COUGAR (20) 54

20e – DELANNIKA (22) 56

21e – MAZOT (7) 56

22e – ALEXABAR (2) Kelly Gates (a) 56



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