THE Jason Warren and Dean Krongold partnership has immediately struck winning form with new stable acquisition Ruby Skye on Sunday 18 October.
Formerly in the hands of Sylvia Thompson, the seven-year-old mare has thrived in her new surroundings at Denistoun Park to win her way into the $500,000 Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Series on Kennedy Oaks day (November 5).
With her last win coming up eight months ago, Ruby Skye shot straight back to somewhere near her best to take out Heat Five of the Country Series first-up for her new stable at Kilmore. Weaving a passage from the rear of the field, the daughter of Reset came with a determined run to knock off the race-favourite Lord Markel by a quarter of a length.
With the victory, Ruby Skye secured her spot in the $500,000 final along with the Wendy Kelly-trained runner-up Lord Markel.
Warren/Krongold’s racing manager Steve Leonie was thrilled to make an immediate impact with a mare he’s been following for quite some time.
“There’ll be a long time before a win gives me more pleasure than that,” Leonie said post-race with a grin from ear to ear. “I’ve been trying to get this horse for some time. I know that sounds terrible, but I love this horse, and always have. The Mcphee’s, from when I was at Luke Oliver’s, very kindly sent her down and I’m just so pleased that we got it done first-up for them. I am just beaming, couldn’t be happier.”
Leonie believes the change of environment on the Mornington Peninsula, with the use of the Balnarring beach, as well as the chiropractic work from Brendan McCarthy has worked wonders for the mare.
“[Brendan] came and did her two or three days after arriving at the stables and the release that she showed, was as much as I’ve seen of any horse, so we were quietly confident coming here today,” he said.
Now with the first-up win under her belt, Ruby Skye we’ll be targeted towards the final in three weeks’ time before potentially aiming at a country cup.
“We’ll take that today and she’ll head to the final,” Leonie said. “I’d love to take her up to the Wodonga Cup for the Mcphee’s since it’s their local track. They’ve won it a few times with horses like Minnie Downs and god it’d be lovely to win another one for them.”
The grin never wavered from Leonie’s face as their stable star Brooklyn Hustle heads into the Group One Manikato Stakes (1200m) on Friday night in full flight.
“She’s looking fantastic,” Leonie said. “She’s the best she’s been.”
“A jockey that rode a treble yesterday at Caulfield (Ben Melham) spun her around on Monday and said ‘that was the best she felt’. James Winks spun her around yesterday at Moonee Valley and I think he’s a good judge, and he said ‘that’s the best she’s felt’ and we’ve got a Caulfield Cup winning rider on her on Friday.”
Brooklyn Hustle heads to the Group One fourth-up from a spell with her most recent run resulting in a fast-finishing fourth in the Group One Moir Stakes (1000m) at The Valley.