Antrim Coast scores upset win in Alister Clark Stakes

Jockey Michael Dee praised the training effort of New Zealander Stephen Marsh after the victory of Antrim Coast at Moonee Valley.

Antrim Coast finished second in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) on March 2 before Marsh freshened the three-year-old for a tilt at the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) on Saturday.

Dee said The Valley circuit did not suit Antrim Coast who was all-at sea on the tight turning track and even believed he had been beaten on the line.

Antrim Coast ($51) scored a half-head win over the $4.20 favourite Quintessa with Zipaway ($16) a further three-quarters-of-a-length away third.

Dee said he rode for Oaks Stud during his apprenticeship days in New Zealand and that it was good to be associated with one of their horses in Australia.

“It is good that they’ve been able to bring one over,” Dee said.

“It was a good run last start and a very good training effort to come back to the 2000 metres around Moonee Valley.

“I dare say that he didn’t get around Moonee Valley that well, to be honest, because at every corner he wanted to lay outwards and didn’t corner that well.

“We got taken on down the side and had to go quite early and to be honest, I thought we got beaten on the line.

“It was a super effort.”

Dee said he went into Saturday’s race without an idea on how to ride the gelding and credited Dean Williams, representing connections, on a plan.

“To be honest, I had no idea what we were going to do so credit to Dean Williams,” Dee said.

“He said, we’ll try our luck. Give him a bang because he believes he’s not an out-and-out stayer and to his credit we were able to go and push forward.

“The speed was hot early and we were able to get into a nice spot.”

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