Well-bred local Start A Riot allayed Keith and Lisa Hellmuths’ fears about a bad draw to put a classy line-up to the sword in the inaugural Trio’s Winter Cup Final (520m) at Cranbourne last Saturday night.
Start A Riot, a daughter of Magic Sprite and Flash Riot, also bred and owned by the Pearcedale-based Hellmuths, was a $13.30 outsider in the $20,000 to-the-winner Winter Cup, an event for emerging sprinters, graded 5, 6 and 7 at Cranbourne.
Start A Riot had won 11 of her 24 starts heading into the Winter Cup, including a 30.59s heat victory, where she left Group 3 winner Flynn in her wake.
But the Hellmuths conceded box four dampened their enthusiasm ahead of the lucrative final, where Get It Gizmo started $3.20 favourite, ahead of fastest heat winner Eight Ball at $4.20.
They needn’t have worried as Start A Riot came out running to lead Max Tractor ($13.40) and she was never in danger of defeat, powering to the line to score by an ever-widening 5.77 lengths in a slick 30.25s.
“It was a bit unexpected!” a delighted Lisa Hellmuth said.
“When we drew box four I didn’t think we had a hope.
“Box four is really the squeeze box at Cranbourne. Start A Riot has had box three and four at Cranbourne previously and been cleaned up at the start and finished nowhere but she began like lightning on Saturday.
“The track was very boggy and I was talking to Philip Smith, who had Eight Ball in the race, and we thought 30.50s or 30.60s would probably win it so we were rapt with her time.”
The performance earned Start A Riot her second trip to Sydney this year, for this Saturday’s heats of the Group 1 Peter Mosman Opal, which is restricted to females for the first time.
“We thought if she did well at Cranbourne we’d give her a crack at the Peter Mosman. It’s age-restricted, so you only get one go at it,” Lisa said.
“She’ll be one of the oldest in the series and she’s been to Wentworth Park earlier in the year for the (Group 1) National Futurity heats. She had box six and was cut off at the start and ran sixth.
“Fingers crossed she draws well because I’d hate for Keith to drive all the way up to Sydney and come back with his tail between his legs!”
Start A Riot’s Winter Cup romp continued the Hellmuths’ wonderful run of success with the line.
Her mother, Flash Riot (Barcia Bale – Raya Riot), was a half-sister to Group 1 Hume Cup hero Rockoon and a litter sister to Fuelish (19 wins), Headline (16), Rowdy Ronda (9) and Ricardo Racer (7).
“We can’t believe how lucky we’ve been, especially for people who breed their own,” Lisa said.
“We actually gave Flash Riot away twice and they sent her back to us because she was a bit nasty. We decided to breed a litter and hope she threw something and she did.
“We knew the first litter were going well so we bred another litter to Fernando Bale. There were 11 pups in the litter and they’re about 13 weeks old now. I’d like to keep them all but they’re definitely for sale!”
Jackie Greenough, another prominent Pearcedale trainer, claimed the two other feature events on the Cranbourne card.
Odds-on favourite Mustang Tully (Paw Licking – Wise Forecast) took out the Cranbourne Track Stars (311m) and Often Imitated (KC And All – Sweet It Is), the $2.30 favourite, was victorious in The Backman’s (520m).
WATCH: Star A Riot claim the first Trio’s Winter Cup from box four on Saturday night at Cranbourne.