AN incident that might have spelt disaster for John O’Shea and Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley turned into victory when Cameo (Sam Clipperton) returned to form to win the Emirates Park Scone Cup.
That is the third Scone cup Darley has won in the last four years with Dysphonia winning in 2011 and Raspberries in 2012 when Peter Snowden was the head trainer.
The win gave O’Shea his first stakes winner for Darley since taking over from Snowden and Clipperton his first stakes race for the stable.
“I have ridden a handful of winners for Darley but this is my first black type race for them,” Clipperton said.
Hours before the race, one of Darley’s two runners, Wistful was scratched after arriving at the track injured.
“She hit her head in the truck and opened it up,” Darley’s manager, Henry Plumtree, said.
“Craig Suann, the Racing NSW vet, is here and he inspected her.
“We will rely on Craig’s advice but I don’t think we will stitch it.”
Cameo originally went into the cup as Darley’s second string runner, although Plumtree defended her recent record, finishing last or near last at her last four metropolitan runs.
“They were all on rain-affected tracks and from wide barriers and she does not like those conditions,” Plumtree said.
“She is a good mare on good going and with a good draw and she had both today.
“That was a gem of a ride from Sam.” Plumtree said Cameo and Wistful would both go to Brisbane to run in the Lord Mayors cup.
“Wistful will race on but Cameo will be going to stud,” Plumtree said.
“It is frustrating when a horse suffers an injury like Wistful.
“These races are picked out months before and Peter did a wonderful job building them up and giving them the foundation they needed.”
Clipperton jumped Cameo on terms with the rest of the field from her inside barrier and settled her in sixth place, on the rails.
He started to edge forward coming to the turn, went around the early leader Collar in the straight then held on to win by a length from the Peter Moody trained Full Of Spirit (Chad Schofield) with Loaded (Tim Bell) a further one and a quarter lengths away third.
Clipperton’s cup win was later tempered a little when stewards suspended him for a week for causing interference on Tail Risk in race six while he was also fined $200 for flourishing his whip on the line after winning the cup.
Clipperton starts his suspension on Sunday, May 25 and can resume riding on Sunday, June 1.