Rue Maple returns to the winners list

Rue Maple broke a 21-month winning drought at Caulfield on Saturday

Consistent mare Rue Maple broke a frustrating winning drought when she scored a deserved first-up win in today's $70,000 Story Landscaping Handicap (1100m) at Caulfield.

The Darren Weir-trained five-year-old hadn't won since registering back-to-back wins at Moonee Valley in July 2010, but had figured in the placings eight times in 12 subsequent runs.

One of seven seconds placings in that time was a luckless effort behind Miss Octopussy in the corresponding race last year and Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock's Liz Dance was thrilled to see Rue Maple break through.

“She's been a marvellous horse, she certainly knows how to run a place, so it was lovely to see her win so convincingly today and it was a terrific ride as well,” the part-owner said. 

“She was certainly the best horse in the race, it was just whether she needed this run under her belt to do it, but she certainly did it ok today.”

Rue Maple followers never had any cause for concern with apprentice jockey Damian Lane able to assume the spot outside the leader from barrier eight in the 10-horse event.

The daughter of Rubiton took over soon after straightening and quickly put a gap on her rivals, which she was able to maintain over the final 200m. At the line she had 2-1/4 lengths to spare over $20 chance Silkstone Special with Delabombell ($5) a length back third.

Lane agreed that she looked the best horse in the race and was always confident she would justify that once she found the spot outside the leader.

“On paper she looked the best horse in the race and it was all going to depend on the run she got from the awkward barrier,” Lane said. “She got a nice one at that, we landed outside the leader travelling comfortably and she won like she was the best horse in the race.”

Rue Maple's win completed an early running double for Lane, who won the second event on the card – the $70,000 Handicap (1600m) – aboard the Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra-trained Star Of Giselle.

The daughter of Reset appreciated a well-judged front-running ride from the former Western Australian to score an emphatic three-length win over Ky's The Limit and Sensational Report.

That victory formed part of another running double with Ellerton/Zahra Racing having earlier won the $70,000 Hyland Race Colours Handicap (1000m) with Kolonga. The daughter of Magnus scored a dashing all-the-way debut win under Andrew Mallyon.

Not to be outdone by her older brother, Mallyon's sister Katelyn later made a trip to the winner's stall when she won the $70,000 Vintage Photobooth Plate (1200m) aboard the Robbie Griffiths-trained Vain Attraction.

Results from the Caulfield card are available by clicking on the link

- Racing Victoria