Unrelenting NSW stayer Stagger Out Lee pulled off a ‘staggering’ last-to-first victory in the $165,500 Group 1 Sportsbet Bold Trease final (715m) at Sandown Park on Saturday night.
Trained at Wagga by 24-year-old Jack Strutt – a final year law student at the University of Wollongong – Stagger Out Lee snared a $105,000 first prize in “amazing” fashion.
Quite aptly, it was akin to the days of the immortal “Warrnambool Warrior” – Bold Trease – which won four successive Sandown Cups with whirlwind finishes in the late 1980s.
“It’s a dream come true. It was a super run… I don’t know how she does it.”
Stagger Out Lee – owned by Strutt’s dad, Paul – was only fairly away from Box 1 and was checked entering the first turn.
She was last at the winning post the first time around and still at the tail of the field heading down the back straight – a conservative 12L from the leading division.
But Stagger Out Lee ($6.10) refused to ‘throw in the towel’ and finished at the rate of knots to defeat NSW compatriot Cawbourne Magic ($3.40) by 1.6L, with Korda ($16.90) a further 0.1L away third in 41.71sec.
It was her 10th win – including four in a row – from 47 starts and her stakes catapulted to $172,765.
Race caller Dan Hibberd was gobsmacked by the phenomenal performance, exclaiming: “Stagger Out Lee. Wow! Stagger Out Lee’s come from last and won. What a finish!”
Meanwhile, a shell-shocked Strutt told James Van de Maat on racing.com: “It’s a dream come true. It was a super run… I don’t know how she does it.”
And he explained the emotion of a G1 victory in one word: “Amazing!”
“She’s an amazing animal, so gifted. She never gives up. I’m stoked.”
Stagger Out Lee brought the Bold Trease ‘battle of the sexes’ to 12 apiece. She’s the first female to win the race since all-time great Fanta Bale in 2017.
WATCH: STAGGER OUT LEE (B1) comes from the clouds to claim the G1 Bold Trease.
Photos by Clint Anderson