The Pinjarra Classic: What History Says Posted on February 24, 2017February 24, 2017 | Posted by Julio Santarelli BACKGROUND A field of nine starters contested the first running of the Listed Pinjarra Classic in 1998. The fancied runners included Cash In The Bank and Jacks Or Better who battled out favouritism. But Sounds Of Legend, trained by Jim Taylor and ridden by Paul Harvey, proved too strong, scoring by a half-length from Volstag with Zacaboy third. The Pinjarra Classic has been run over distances ranging between 1200m and 1500m and in 2008 was hosted at Ascot. JOCKEY Paul Harvey has ridden three Pinjarra Classic winners, the best of any rider. After Sounds Of Legend he partnered Bumbelina (2001) and Mr Callahan (2002). William Pike, Jason Whiting, Troy Turner, Shaun O’Donnell and Peter Hall have won the race on two occasions. Pike won his first Pinjarra Classic on Glory Hunter (2010) and followed up soon after with Vermeer (2013). Whiting combined with Harvard (2009) and last year with First Among Equals. Turner won his two races almost a decade apart. He guided Kame’s Hope (2003) for mentor, Colin Webster and Watermans Bay (2014). O’Donnell rode popular local Pinjarra galloper, Royal Lott (2006) before completing the double with Bites The Dust (2012). Kyra Yuill is the only rider in the field of nine in Sunday’s feature who already has a Pinjarra Classic to her name after guiding Henry De Horse (2011) to victory. Yuill and Alana Williams, who sat aboard On Target (2005), are the only females to ride a Pinjarra Classic winner. They team up on Sunday with Coming Back, a horse trained by Williams and her partner, Grant Williams. Eight riders engaged in Sunday’s sprint feature can record their maiden wins in the Pinjarra Classic: Dan Staeck (Divine Calling), Craig Staples (Great Shot), Chris Parnham (Rebel King), Pat Carbery (Django), Brad Parnham (Havana), Jerry Noske (Man Booker), Steven Parnham (North Ridge) and Peter Knuckey (Rowie). Knuckey and Carbery have gone close previously with three minor placings each. TRAINER Geoff Roberts with Corporate Gun (1999-2000) and long-time Pinjarra committee member, Keith Jeffries, with Royal Lott (2006-2008) are the most successful trainers of the Pinjarra Classic. The Bruce Watkins-Gary Hitchcock co-partnership and Vaughn Sigley are the sole trainers to prepare a Pinjarra Classic quinella. Watkins and Hitchcock prepared Vermeer and Kerrific (2013) and Sigley looked over Black Heart Bart and Dawn Approach. Fred Kersley (Divine Calling-Northridge), Rhys Radford (Great Shot), Darren McAuliffe (Rebel King), Alan Mathews (Django), Chris Gangemi (Havana), Grant and Alana Williams (Coming Back), Dan Morton (Manbooker) and Stephen Sheehy (Rowie) can claim their first wins. Morton placed three times previously with Red Ora (2016) and Oroya Gold (2008-2009). BARRIERS Django (2) and Havana (9) will be out to maintain the dominance of barriers two and nine which have won four Pinjarra Classics. Remarkably barrier nine won in three consecutive years: Mr Callahan (2002), Kame’s Hope (2003) and Mapperholic (2004). Northridge (3), Rowie (4), Great Shot (5) and Coming Back (8) will have to buck the trend with no horses winning from their respective starting gates. LEAD UP RACES Seven of the 19 champions won their lead-up race before the Pinjarra Classic, seven were placed and one was successful when first up. The past three winners: First Among Equals (2016), Black Heart Bart (2015) and Watermans Bay (2014) have come through winning the Cyril Flower Stakes. Great Shot, who won the Cyril Flower Stakes a week ago and Man Booker are last start winners, Django has been freshened and Havana kicks off his campaign. WEIGHT Black Heart Bart lumped the highest weight to win the Pinjarra Classic, he carried 59kg in 2015.