Stylish Criminal Claims Capricornia Classic

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Trainer John Pointon had to wait a few anxious moments in the stewards' room before Stylish Criminal provided him with one of his biggest ever pay cheques in the $100,000 Capricorn Yearling Sales Classic at Rockhampton on Saturday.

In a thrilling finish when four horses crossed the line together, Stylish Criminal just prevailed over The Bank Manager in the 1200-metre feature with We'll Beat It a close third.

However, The Bank Manager’s rider Adrian Coome fired in a protest alleging interference in the straight but it was later dismissed after a lengthy hearing by stewards.

“I was a bit anxious when they lodged the protest but once I went into the room I was sure we wouldn’t lose it,” Pointon said.

Pointon has been training for more than 40 years and has won a host of features in central and north Queensland but Stylish Criminal’s win was his most satisfying.

“I’ve won a lot of races up north but this was particularly good as it’s my home town and it was in front of a lot of my friends,” he said.

“I had his full brother and took him to the Ready To Run sales at the Gold Coast and he won four straight.”

Pointon is not looking too far ahead with Stylish Criminal with one of the biggest ever floods set to hit Rockhampton in the next few days.

“There’s big flood waters coming our way and they’re supposed to be the second biggest ever to hit Rocky,” he said.

“If that’s right then I’ll have to shift our horses out of the stables and get out of home as we’ll go under.”

Meanwhile trainer Ricky Vale will give serious thought to sending Cheeky Red to Brisbane in the near future following the gelding’s victory in the Aquis Farm Capricornia Yearling Sale Championship (1300m).

Cheeky Red, ridden by apprentice Quayde Krogh, finished strongly to down Helluva Hoffa by half a length with third placegetter Tinto Ellemento, a further one length away.

Vale was forced to spell Cheeky Red after winning at Rockhampton on December 31 and wasn’t confident the son of Red Element could win first-up.

“He had a few problems after he won in December and this was only a stepping stone for the big QTIS Three-Year-Old race here on Rocky Cup day in June,” Vale said.

“I was confident he had the ability to win this but I would have declared him had he had another two weeks work.

“He had four weeks off during his break and has only been in work nine weeks.

“I gave him a barrier trial recently but he went terrible after he got his tongue over the bit.

“He’s raced with a tongue tie in all of his races bar his last start so I put them back on for this.”

Vale plans to give Cheeky Red, who took his record to three wins from 11 starts, one more local run before considering a Brisbane trip.