Ringside triumphs in Deepwater Cup

Chelsea Hillier and the Kelly Smith-trained Ringside held on for a good win in Saturday’s Deepwater Cup. Image – Bradley Photos.

Consistent galloper Ringside was rewarded for his recent efforts with a victory in Saturday’s $17,000 Deepwater Cup. 

Trained by Kelly Smith, the eight-year-old had Chelsea Hillier in the saddle and was having his 71st start when bringing up his tenth career victory, making every post a winner in the 1350m feature event.

“It’s just unbelievable,” Smith told NSW Country and Picnic Racing. 

“It didn’t matter that the distance was brought back to 1350m, and he came out of the barrier like a bullet, and she settled him back, and he boxed on. 

“You could have driven a bus between him and the next horse there at one stage, but it was a good ride and a good win.”

Ringside did have to hold off the fast-finishing Amazingly (Courtney Bellamy, $7.50), which finished second when beaten three-quarters-of-a-length for trainer Jane Clement, while in third and two lengths back was the Rod Northam-trained Red Impulse (Sarah McDonough, $7).

“I don’t bet, but I couldn’t believe the odds; some of them got $4.50,” Smith said. 

“I said to Chelsea, ‘Hook him up a bit in case he is a bit doughy out of barriers, but he came out, and Highland Bay (Ben Looker) took him on at the 400m.

“She said, ‘I kept him gathered up’, and that was it; well, Hyland Bay finished ten lengths off them and Amazingly was out the back to start off.

“Then Amazingly started to come home, and when Ringside must have caught Amazingly coming down the outside, he dug in and wasn’t going to be beaten.”

As mentioned in a story by NSW Country and Picnic Racing late last week, Ringside has a big following, and Smith said it was another popular victory. 

“They were all over the moon, and definitely the best part of it is that he’s now won ten races,” Smith said. 

“He’s got a big following, and I had people calling and asking where they can get a bet on, and the amount of people messaging me after the run; it was terrific.”

It was a fair trip from Collarenebri to Deepwater for Smith, but as he explained, it didn’t knock Ringside around, who was up and ready to go again on Sunday morning.

“This morning, the others were knocked up after a five-hour trip, but he ate up last night,” Smith said. 

“This morning (Sunday), he walked and walked until I took him for his two-and-a-half-minute swim. 

“After that, I gave him a biscuit of feed, and his head is still over the feeder, but he’s a bit like that; he loves racing, and you can’t give him a day off.”

Ringside’s win in the Deepwater Cup brought up a winning double for the stable, with Smith winning earlier on the program with Vertical.

Hillier was again in the saddle, and the in-form apprentice delivered connections, including previous trainer John Bourke, a very special win when Vertical ($5) took out the 1200m Benchmark 50 Handicap.

It’s interesting to note that Sutton Park Racing originally raced Ringside and Vertical.

Smith is hopeful that Mark Sowerby has sent him another good one in the form of a recent purchase, Green Run. 

“I only worked it out this morning, and I’ve had four horses from Mark at Sutton Park,” Smith said. 

“They are Pretext’s Dream, Rumbrella, Ringside, and Vertical, and I’ve won races with all four of them, and now I’ve got Green Run coming, and hopefully, he’ll be the fifth horse.

On a good day’s racing at Deepwater, a massive crowd took advantage of the Australia Day weekend.

In another special result, young apprentice Siena Grima won her first race at just her second start, guiding the Ridge Wilson-trained Jakat ($3) to victory in the 1350m Benchmark 50 Handicap. 

In other results, Dwayne Schmidt and Ben Looker combined to win the 1200m Maiden Handicap with Denman Blue ($2.80).  

Apprentice Cobi Vitler teamed up with Todd Payne, winning the 1350m Class One Handicap on Humanitarian ($4). 

Billy Cray was also in the winner’s circle, guiding the Peter Sinclair-trained Lesgo Don to a dominant win in the 1350m Maiden Plate.