Climbing Star Upsets in Thrilling Robert Sangster Stakes 2024 Result

Local trainer Phillip Stokes and young jockey Lachlan Neindorf pulled off a major upset in the 2024 Robert Sangster Stakes at Morphettville on Saturday, with their mare Climbing Star saluting at a juicy $26 price.

The four-year-old Zoustar daughter arrived in peak form, following a win in the Listed Matrice Classic (1200m) and a narrow second to Benedetta in the Group 3 RN Irwin Stakes (1100m).

A stumble out of the gates forced Neindorf to improvise, abandoning their pre-race plan to take the outside lane.

Instead, he kept his cool, staying tucked away near the back of the pack.

This tactical switch proved crucial.

As they entered the home straight, Neindorf hugged the rails, allowing Climbing Star to conserve energy and find a clear path.

The longshot filly surged forward, battling off a late charge from the fast-finishing Learning To Fly.

Race favourite Estriella led the pack early, but faded in the final stages eventually running fifth.

All eyes turned to Learning To Fly, who appeared poised to snatch victory after a strong closing burst.

However, Climbing Star displayed remarkable heart and determination, holding off the challenge to claim a surprise victory.

Learning To Fly settled for a close second, while Benedetta completed the trifecta with a strong third-place finish.

“That was super,” said a delighted Stokes after the race.

“I was watching the race and I thought hang on a second, what happened? We were meant to get her to the outside.

“No horse had been there (the inside) all day.

“Great for Lachie to get the win.”

Neindorf, overcome with emotion, echoed Stokes’ sentiment: “It was a really good win. She stumbled at the start and I wanted to be a lot closer. Eventually, we got the favours and here we are!”

While there’s no set plan to run in the upcoming Group 1 $1 million The Goodwood (1200m) back at the track on May 11, Stokes is optimistic about her potential.

“We got her to peak on the day today,” he said.

“She’s come of her own now. She’s coming of age and just starting to blossom now.

“They still haven’t seen the best of her.

“She’s got a great spring ahead of her I think.

“We’d want to be happy with her (to contest The Goodwood). We don’t have to do that.

“If she pulls up well, we’ll look at it.”

2024 Robert Sangster Stakes Results

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Penalty Starting Price
1 7 CLIMBING STAR (NZ) Phillip Stokes Lachlan Neindorf 14 56.5kg $26
2 13 LEARNING TO FLY Annabel Neasham Chad Schofield 0.3L 13 54.5kg $10
3 4 BENEDETTA Jason Warren Daniel Stackhouse 0.4L 1 56.5kg $9
4 2 I AM ME Ciaron Maher Blake Shinn 1.4L 2 56.5kg $5
5 12 ESTRIELLA Ciaron Maher Mark Zahra 2.5L 11 54.5kg (cd 55kg) $2.80F
6 14 STRETAN ANGEL Phillip Stokes Damian Lane 2.9L 10 54.5kg $26
7 11 WALTZ ON BY Peter G Moody & Katherine Coleman Billy Egan 4.1L 8 56.5kg $26
8 10 SNAPPED Anthony & Sam Freedman Todd Pannell 4.4L 7 56.5kg $81
9 1 ZAPATEO James Cummings Ms Jamie Kah 4.5L 3 56.5kg $8
10 9 WONDERFUL TONIGHT Sam Mynott Craig Williams 5L 12 56.5kg $101
11 3 PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE Grahame Begg Jordan Childs 5.1L 6 56.5kg $9
12 8 LEMPICKA Ken & Kasey Keys Blaike McDougall 6.9L 4 56.5kg $81
13 6 SKEW WIFF (NZ) Mark Walker Michael Dee 6.9L 5 56.5kg $81
14 5 ROOTS Chris Waller James McDonald 8L 9 56.5kg $26

Table Credit: Racing Australia.

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About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the team for the better part of a decade. She has taken great delight in covering champion mares Black Caviar and Winx throughout their careers and always has a soft spot for a winning filly.