Great Shot Delivers Connections First Group One

Great Shot Delivers Connections First Group One

Quietly spoken trainer Rhys Radford and top jockey Craig Staples celebrated a breakthrough Group One success today when quality Perth middle distance galloper Great Shot won a thrilling $1 million Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot.

Showing his true fighting capabilities, Great Shot staved off strong challenges in the straight from a number of runners before holding out genuine star Black Heart Bart in a desperate finish.

It was a triumph for the West Australian breeding industry with Great Shot and Black Heart Bart bred and sold in the state – both bred at Scenic Lodge (formerly Durham Lodge).

While Black Heart Bart, with his massive weight and three wide run, was incredible again, it was the five-year-old Great Shot who swept away with the rich prize.

“I thought he would run a great race,” a delighted Rhys Radford said. “I couldn’t get him any better and just hoped his best would be good enough.”

“I’ve never had a horse try as hard as he does. He’s a credit to himself – he never gives in.”

Radford said it would take a “day or two to sink in” that he had trained the winner of a million dollar race.

The win was also momentous for accomplished local rider Craig Staples.

“I ran third in the race as an apprentice,” Staples said. “I didn’t think I would win a Group One, but I’ve won one now.”

Staples won a Karrakatta Plate in its last year as a Group One before losing the win post-race, while he also rode a Winterbottom Stakes winner before it was elevated to the elite status.

“Full credit to the horse he’s so tough,” Staples said. “He really showed how tough he is.”

“I was actually confident in the horse today. He hasn’t been sound for a long time, but today was the soundest he’s been for a while.”

“The horse means everything to me. I’ve liked him since day one. When you get a good one to ride you try and stick to it.”

“I knew I was going alright. He hadn’t been challenged before the turn. When the other horses come at him he loves that – he really digs in,” Staples added.

Great Shot has turned out an incredible money spinner for Frank and May Edwards since they purchased him for $31,000 at the 2014 Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale. As it stands his stakes earnings have flown past $1.2 million.

The son of Magnus was offered and sold through the draft of Scenic Lodge and like the gallant Black Heart Bart has established himself yet another star graduate of the popular Perth based auction.

A half brother to the Caulfield stakes winner Gawne and the dam of multiple group winner Casino Dancer, Great Shot is from Satin Covers.

A daughter of Dr. Grace, Satin Covers won four races, was a multiple Sydney winner is from the Group One winner Satin Sands and a half sister to South African group winner Da-Man.

Winner: Great Shot
Breeding: Magnus-Satin Covers (Dr. Grace)
Race: WATC Railway Stakes G1 (1600m)
Sold for: $31,000
Sale: 2014 Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale
Vendor: Scenic Lodge
Buyer: Francis Edwards
Earnings: $1,204,875
Owner(s): Dr FJ Edwards & Mrs ME Edwards
Trainer: Rhys Radford (Ascot)