Three-year-old gelding Mystery Shot (Shooting To Win) has continued an unbeaten start to his career to give Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Michael Rodd his first city success since his return to Victorian racing from Singapore.
The Lindsey Smith-trained Mystery Shot made it three wins from as many starts in Saturday’s Take It To The Neds Level Handicap (1440m) at Caulfield, settling just behind the lead before striding to the front with 200m to run.
Splendoronthegrass (So You Think), chasing her third-straight win, charged home from last but could not reel in the $3.30 favourite who scored by a long neck with Scorpius (Deep Field) another 1/3-lengths away third.
Rodd had been based in Singapore since 2015 but was one of three Australian jockeys who returned to Victoria to continue riding after racing was shut down for a period in Singapore as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After two weeks quarantine upon his return to Melbourne, Rodd started back at the Flemington meeting on May 23 and notched his first winner back at Hamilton on the Smith-trained Capital Zous (Zoustar) a few days later.
He had added another eight winners in the past month before ending the wait for his first city winner since his return with Mystery Shot on Saturday.
“It’s great to finally get one,” Rodd said.
“It’s just taken a bit of time to get on a better quality horse.
“Lindsey and (syndicator) Brad Spicer have been really good to me. They’ve been great supporters and this horse has been going well.”
Six of Rodd’s 10 victories since his Victorian return have been on Smith-trained horses.
“He’s a world-class jockey and so professional,” Smith said.
Smith and Rodd combined with fellow Kiwi acquisitions Our Wind Spirit (NZ) (Per Incanto) and Mr Cancun (NZ) (Atlante) to win at Geelong on Friday, who like Mystery Shot were identified by Brad Spicer in conjunction with Kiwi bloodstock agent Gary Carvell.
“He was purchased by Spicer Thoroughbreds from New Zealand and they thought that he had some ability,” Smith said.
“I thought it was a really good effort winning on debut at Warrnambool because he pulled up shin sore. It was extra good to win with that.
“He still hasn’t furnished fully and we’ll give him another run at 1600m in a couple of weeks and there’s some good races for him to aim for in January.”
Bred by Inglewood Stud, Mystery Shot is out of the stakes performed Montjeu mare Mystique, a daughter of top stayer Seamist (NZ) (Beaufort Sea). He is a half-brother to stakes winner Replique (NZ) (Darci Brahma).