Bastia brilliant at Randwick


Bastia (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle) has provided trainer Kris Lees with some consolation after promising colt Graff (Star Witness) was a late scratching from the Gr.2 Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) at Doomben.

The four-year-old gelding, ridden by Brenton Avdulla, notched the fourth win of his 17-race career when surging to a 2-1/4 length victory as the $3.50 favourite in the EML Handicap (1600m) at Randwick.

“Obviously there’s mixed emotions with what happened in Queensland but it’s good to get a result,” said Lees’ stable representative Lucas Miller.

“He’s just a consistent Saturday type horse so we’ll keep chasing prize money,” he said.

Avdulla, who earlier rode The Autumn Sun (Redoute’s Choice) to victory, protected his Sydney jockeys’ premiership lead with an early double.

“He travelled comfortable, I dropped back to the fence at the 600 and my bloke really towed me through and off that gallop he really extended nicely,” he said.