BALNARRING-based trainer Kerry Edwards landed her first Stakes race with stable star, Rox The Castle, at Flemington on Saturday 14 September.
Despite drawing an outside barrier, the former New Zealand galloper was too tough in the Listed $140,000 The Sofitel (1400m) stakes after sitting outside the lead and holding on for a narrow victory.
The gutsy win topped off a Mornington-trained trifecta with the Rachel Frost-trained Travimyfriend finishing half-of-a-length away in second and the Grahame Begg-trained Romancer finishing a further length behind in third.
Trainer Kerry Edwards was understandably ecstatic following the gallant victory.
“He is unbelievable,” she said post-race.
“That was seriously tough what he did then. Craig (Williams) sat on him as long as he could, it was a little bit close at the end, but he just digs in so deep. I’m so proud of him.”
With three horses in work and one being broken in, the part-time trainer has placed the lightly raced Rox The Castle perfectly to bring his record to seven wins and two placings from 12 starts.
Also mixing her small training business with work as a gardener, Edwards says having a horse like Rox The Castle makes it even more enjoyable.
“I’m just a small stable and I do it all myself so I really can’t handle anymore than four in work at one time so it’s a little bit of a juggling act, but I have the passion for the horses and getting a horse like him is absolutely outstanding,” she said.
Champion jockey, Craig Williams, was aboard the four-year-old son of Castledale in his Stakes victory and believes he’ll be a great competitor for more races in the Spring.
“There’s no doubt that he’s a Spring class horse but it’ll be interesting to see which way Kerry goes with him,” he said. “They’ve just managed him so well for a lightly raced horse.”
Edwards will follow her usual planning strategy and make decisions on where to head next with her star gelding in the coming days once she has an understanding on how he has come through his win.
Rox The Castle has now taken his prize money past the $250,000 mark.