Sghirripa produces stunning performance in Standish Handicap romp

Sghirripa ridden by Craig Newitt wins the Standish Handicap at Flemington. (Photo by Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

In the wake of his triumphant victory in the Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington, Sghirripa has posed an interesting question for his connections.

Jockey Craig Newitt, who expertly guided the South Australian sprinter to his first Group win, suggested a straightforward solution to the impending decision regarding Group 1 autumn features such as the Oakleigh Plate or Newmarket Handicap.

“We don’t they run in both?” Newitt proposed confidently, emphasising the horse’s prowess in the race.

“I actually thought mid-race because I was that confident that far out, I’d give him a test over the 1200 metres.

“He’s obviously a really good short-course horse, but I exposed him early and the last 300 metres, he was dead-set floating around and waiting for the competition.

“I don’t think I got anywhere near the bottom of him. We’ll take it one step at a time, but he’s pretty exciting.”

2024 Group 3 Standish Handicap Replay – Sghirripa

The Group 3 victory, worth $250,000, marked a career highlight for trainers Shane and Cassie Oxlade, based in Woodchester near Strathalbyn in South Australia.

Shane Oxlade expressed his elation after Sghirripa’s convincing three-length win as the warm $2.05 favourite with top horse racing bookmakers, calling the achievement “the top of the tree.”

“It’s not very often you get to the 400 and they start over-racing on you. That’s when I had to come out and give him a bit of room,” Newitt added, commending the horse’s sensible demeanour during the race.

Sghirripa dominated the field, leaving Crosshaven ($8) and Curran ($8) trailing three lengths behind on the line. Even the highly regarded The Astrologist could only manage a fifth-place finish.

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