David Jolly experienced mixed emotions as his Group 1-winning star Behemoth was soundly beaten by improving stablemate Calypso Reign in the $127,250 G3 Spring Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
The Spring Stakes was sponsored by Grand Syndicates, who race both Jolly representatives, but it won’t be fondly remembered by connections of Behemoth, who witnessed the dual Memsie Stakes winner miss the start by two lengths.
Behemoth, who eased from an opening quote of $1.80 favourite on Wednesday to jump $2.70 favourite on race day, struggled to improve his position on the Heavy 9 track and finished 11th in the 13-horse field.
Instead it was Calypso Reign ($13) who sliced through the rain-affected going best, defeating Pindaric ($7.50) by just more than two lengths. Pimm’s Party ($14) was nibbled at odds and added value into the exotics in finishing third.
“I was trying to watch both horses, I knew Behemoth jumped in the air, they looked to go slow and I knew it would be a hard task,” Jolly said.
“Gatty (Behemoth’s rider Paul Gatt) looked to do the right thing trying to save ground (after jumping slowly).
“I could see Calypso Reign sneaking up out wide and I know he’s really flying and going well.”
Kayla Crowther had the option of riding Behemoth or Calypso Reign in the Spring Stakes and selected the outsider of the pair in the expectation Calypso Reign will remain in Adelaide while another Melbourne-based rider would be found for Behemoth for the $1 million G1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) in a fortnight.
“I’m so glad because I encouraged Kayla (Crowther) to go that way,” Jolly said. “He (Calypso Reign) has just been an improving horse, a marvel, he’s just got better and better.”
A six-year-old gelding by Barbados, Calypso Reign has won four of his past five starts and has raced 26 times for eight wins and six placings, with prizemoney of $414,760.