Ex-pat New Zealand jockey Michael Dee brought up one of the biggest prizemoney wins of his career when he steered Prince Of Sussex to a decisive 1-3/4 length win in the $A1million “The Showdown”, feature race at yesterday’s Caulfield meeting.
Dee, 23, began his apprenticeship from the Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen before a stint with Wanganui trainer Kevin Myers.
He then left for Australia where he completed his apprenticeship with Caulfield trainer Mick Price and has now ridden more than 300 winners, three of them at Group 1 level.
Yesterday’s 1200-metre race, restricted to the two-year-old progeny of Victorian-based stallions nominated for the VOBIS Sires annual race series, attracted a maximum field of 16 runners but was touted as a two-horse race between the Matt Laurie-trained Prince Of Sussex and Sartorial Splendor from the John Sadler stable.
But while Prince Of Sussex won with authority from Hightail and Mishe Mokwa, race favourite Sartorial Splendor could only manage fifth.
The result was especially significant for Michael Dee, who had the option of riding either Prince Of Sussex or Sartorial Splendor having partnered both juveniles to victory last time out. But his decision was handsomely vindicated by the winner, who weaved his way towards the inside rail turning for home and quickened up smartly before being eased close to the line.
“There were a few nervous moments but lucky he’s a good horse and good horses like that can get themselves out of trouble,” Dee said.
“He will be even better next time in after he’s had a spell.”