Valley win primes Solsay for Apache

Sep 27, 2014

Consistent galloper Solsay will target the feature sprint on his home track on Cranbourne Cup Day next month after an exhilarating Moonee Valley victory on Friday night.

Ridden by Jackie Beriman, the seven-year-old weaved his way through from an awkward position in the six-horse field to land the opening $55,000 heat of the Jeep 55 Second Challenge (955m).

With blinkers back on, he  settled inside another runner at the tail of the field and pushed up approaching the home turn, before spearing through a gap straightening up.

Fancied at $5 powered home to score a length win over plunge horse General Jackson ($20 to $13) and $2.25 favourite Angel's Beach in 56.19s on a dead 5 track.

The win has at his stage put trainer Michael Kent in the driver's seat of a new $70,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee for the fastest horse in the Moonee Valley sprint night series that ends next autumn.

However, the stable's focus is not a Cherokee but an Apache, or more specifically the $100,000 Apache Cat Classic (1000m) at Cranbourne on October 12.

The son of Mossayter, has won nine of his 34 starts and $402,560 for his Western Australian owners Sarino Ballia and Josif Jacob.

His last three wins have been since joining the Kent stable at the start of last year.

He was stakes placed in the Listed Abell Stakes at Moonee Valley in March this year and ran in Friday's Valley race in preference to Sunday's Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.

“The option was to run him on Sunday in that Listed race, but it looked very strong,” Kent said.

“He’d run well in a 1000-metre race (at Moonee Valley) before, so we put the blinkers back on thinking he's run well, and he’s gone and done the job.”

Jackie Beriman was thrilled with the win, which was Solsay's third at the Valley while he has placed at four of his other five runs at the track.

“We just sat off them and crept around the turn and he was just too strong in the end,” Beriman said.

“He’s absolutely flying, he’s so consistent, this is really good.”