JAKE Noonan posted his first Stakes winner when he teamed with comeback sprinter Undeniably to win the Christmas Stakes today at Caulfield.
Noonan’s success took his tally of city winners to 74, six shy of outriding his apprentice’s claim.
He rode Undeniably on a stay pending an appeal against a nine-meeting suspension he incurred at Ballarat last Sunday. The appeal to the RAD Board will be heard early in the New Year.
Noonan said he was confident going into the race given the eye-catching first-up showing from Undeniably behind stablemate Catapulted at Caulfield on December 8.
“The key to him, given he’s such a big horse, is to give him a lot of room,” Noonan said.
“He was still a bit fresh within himself, but I felt I was always travelling like the winner.”
Undeniably, $7, won by three-quarters of a length from Sea Lord, $6.50, with a long head to Youbolt, $17, third.
Equal favourites at $5.50, Roses In The Glen and Alpha Proxima never raised their supporters hopes in finishing eighth and ninth respectively.
Merv Harvey, stable foreman for trainer Mark Kavanagh, said Undeniably, which had not won for two years, had done a remarkable job getting back to the racetrack as he endured a dreadful bout of travel sickness.
Harvey said so sick did Undeniably become that his temperate spiked above 40 and “the last rites” were administered.
“It’s just good to see this horse back racing well. He pretty well was finished two years ago, he got very sick and it’s taken this long to get him back,” Harvey said.
“He’s a very happy horse now. Last time he would charge in his races and he could not be held.”