Tom Stockdale winning aboard Chassis (Image: Racing Photos)
Tom Stockdale claimed bragging rights against his peer group at Flemington on Saturday, winning the $125,000 RMBL Investments Rising Stars Final (1400m) aboard the John Price-trained Chassis.
Stockdale reaped the rewards for a patient ride aboard Chassis in the apprentices-only race restricted to fillies and mares, guiding the four-year-old daughter of Al Maher to her second metropolitan victory from her fifth outing this campaign.
Chassis defeated Galgani by a long neck, with swooping pair Lindhout and Aidensfield left with too much to do, finishing third and fourth respectively both within a length of the winner.
"My horse began well. There wasn't a whole lot of speed. I sort of envisaged a lot more on paper, but there wasn't today," said Stockdale, after Write Enuff ran the first 1000 metres in 1:00.53 on the Soft 5 track.
"The leader (Write Enuff) teared away off in front and I decided to take a sit in behind it. Nikki Burke's horse (Galgani) came up and put the pressure on pretty early (to Write Enuff) and wanted to put me in a pocket, but we were a long way from home.
"I kept my horse in a rhythm, gave her a nice, relaxed and patient ride and she was too strong in the end.
"In Victoria, the apprentice ranks are so competitive, we're all fighting for the best rides and I was lucky enough to get a nice horse today."
WATCH: Chassis win at Flemington
Chassis struggled last campaign and was uncompetitive from three summer starts, with Price mentioning he found 'a couple of issues'.
"She was having a bit of lung pressure and might have had a mild internal sort of bleed and we've just changed her work a bit and she's returned the form we saw as a three-year-old," Price said.
"I think she's still got to show a little bit more, it was a mares race today, but she's very versatile in conditions.
"I think she's got a little bit of scope in distance whether it be 1200 (metres) or a mile. We are just really enjoying it and we will take her home and see how she goes and there'll be something in a couple of weeks."
Chassis has raced 18 times for five wins and two placings, with Saturday's Flemington victory her first beyond 1300m at her fourth attempt over 1400m.
Stockdale has won nine metropolitan races this season, six in Melbourne, two in Sydney and one in Adelaide.
The 22-year-old enjoyed a three-month stint riding for Chris Waller last summer and notched his first Stakes victory aboard the Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young-trained Tyche Goddess in the G3 Auraria Stakes (1800m) at Morphettville in April.