Griff records back-to-back wins with Stutt Stakes victory

Griff on the way to the barriers prior winning the Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley. (Photo by George Sal/Racing Photos)

Although he was unwanted late in the betting, Griff (+400) from the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace yard has claimed his second victory in as many starts, after taking out the Group 2 Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley.

The son of Trapeze Artist was very impressive last start in the Exford Plate at Flemington, where Mark Zahra gave him a great ride from midfield to run over the top of his rivals late; however, on Friday night, Zahra took his mount to the front and took luck out the equation from a wide barrier.

After jumping sweetly, Zahra gave Griff a dig in the ribs and went to the front before settling outside the race leader in Limburg (+4000).

Griff and Limburg ran the race to suit themselves by going at an even tempo, and as they rounded the home turn, Zahra went for his colt and he kicked clear to defeat the fast-finishing and heavily backed Verdad (+300) and Autumn Angel (+600), who filled the placings.

2023 Group 2 Stutt Stakes Replay – Griff | T: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace | J: Mark Zahra

Representing the winning stable, David Eustace spoke post-race about the win of Griff.

“He’s been running some good races up there (Sydney) and now he has got out to a trip, but it was a really smart ride by Mark (Zahra),” Eustace said.

“We were keen to go forward, and he took the race by the scruff of its neck.

“I thought the horse – considering he has only had 13 days since his Flemington win – it was a really good effort.

“The plan was to go from the Exford Plate to here and then to the (Caulfield) Guineas, so we will talk to Shaun Griffiths and go from there.”

As for the jockey Mark Zahra, he has now won the Stutt Stakes for the second year in a row after claiming the same race with Tijuana in 2022.

“To the horses credit, he was able to spring out and he came back straight underneath me,” Zahra said of Griff’s quick start.

“He obviously goes to the (Caulfield) Guineas from here, and he’s good, he has taken a sit and gone forward, so he is versatile which will take him a long way.”

Griff is now an equal fourth favourite at +1000 in the Caulfield Guineas futures market with most online bookmakers.

More horse racing news

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments