Veteran stayer Stockman produced a remarkable come-from-behind performance to land his fourth black-type win in Saturday’s A$200,000 Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) at Rosehill.
The seven-year-old son of Tavistock has been a grand performer for syndicators Proven Thoroughbreds and trainer Joe Pride, winning nine of his 49 starts and more than A$1.7 million in stakes. He had previously won the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m), the Listed WJ McKell Cup (2000m) and the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m), while his stakes placings include a runner-up finish in the Group 1 Tancred Stakes (2400m).
Stockman had gone winless for more than a year since his victory in the A$500,000 St Leger (2600m) at Randwick in October of 2022, but he had shown promising signs with a fourth in the A$750,000 Rosehill Gold Cup (2000m) on November 4. A very firm track at Newcastle tripped him up in The Beauford (2300m) two weeks later, but on Saturday he returned to Rosehill right at the peak of his powers.
Patiently ridden by Reece Jones, Stockman went back from his wide gate and spent most of the race at the tail of the field. Rounding the home turn, he still had only two horses behind him.
But Jones went to work in the straight and Stockman worked through his gears, lengthening stride and gaining ground on the leaders. He and Little Mix strode to the lead together with 100m remaining, and in a head-bobbing duel to the wire, Stockman prevailed by a nose.
“The plan was to try to be a bit handier today, but we jumped from a wide draw and a couple just held their spots underneath us, so we had to drift back,” Jones said.
“They rolled along nicely and we had a good trip in transit. From about the 1000m, he was a typical stayer – I started to ask him and there wasn’t an immediate response, but the further we went, the stronger he got.
“He’s a true campaigner and very honest. He probably would have relished a bit more rain today and gone even better, but it was good to see him get this win. Joe and the rest of the team have done a great job with him.”
With Pride on a family holiday in Japan, he was represented at Rosehill by racing manager Orla Pearl.
“Stockman really deserves this,” Pearl said. “We didn’t quite get the rain today, but there was just enough in the ground for him to get his toe in. It was a brilliant ride by Reece.
“Newcastle was too firm for him last time, but he ran a super race in the Rosehill Gold Cup here in similar track conditions. It’s really good to see him fit and running home as strongly as he did today.”