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Miss Three Stars (PR) wins Gr.3 Winter Cup
07 Aug 2016

Miss Three Stars delivers Winter Cup for reluctant film star Tommy Beckett

Three Star Syndicate member Michael "Moon" Prince celebrates with Miss Three Stars' trainer Tommy Beckett.
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/FAIRFAX NZ

Three Star Syndicate member Michael "Moon" Prince celebrates with Miss Three Stars' trainer Tommy Beckett.


Proud Southlander Tommy Beckett could not be more different from your average Irish TV star but he will become one in September.

The Ascot Park trainer had the luck of the Irish on his side in more ways than one at Riccarton on Saturday and it paid off when Miss Three Stars sired by Perfectly Ready won the Group III Winter Cup.

An Irish television crew was at Riccarton filming a documentary on Canterbury-based Irish jockey Sam Wynne who rode Beckett's mare to a thrilling short-head victory over race favourite Platinum Command.

Miss Three Stars gets up to beat Platinum Command in the Group III Winter Cup.
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/FAIRFAX NZ

Miss Three Stars gets up to beat Platinum Command in the Group III Winter Cup.

An elated Beckett said the win was a huge thrill for the rowdy Three Star Syndicate who celebrated the win like a Group III win should be toasted

"It is huge for us," Beckett said.

Sam Wynne salutes the biggest win of her career.
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/FAIRFAX NZ

Sam Wynne salutes the biggest win of her career.

"I've had a couple of whacks at it (Winter Cup) but we really set her for this race this time."

The documentary is part of a series which will be screened on UTV Ireland in September.

Beckett was a regular in front of their cameras on Saturday and during filming on Friday.

"Me and Sam spent about three hours out at the beach for their filming yesterday," Beckett said.

Beckett is no stranger to a good horse during his lifetime involvement in racing.

He trained Esprit D'Or​ to win the 2013 Metropolitan and he went on to finish second in the 2014 New Zealand Cup. 

In Beckett's younger days, his father Cecil trained Ed to win the Wellington Cup.

"We've always ticked away and the family has always had a good horse somewhere around us so we must do something right," Beckett quipped.

But Miss Three Stars' first Group win has elevated her to the top of the pack in Beckett's eyes.

"She'd have to rank the best one that I've had now."

The ninth win of the Perfectly Ready mare took her earnings past the $200,000 mark.

And ironically, the New Zealand Cup will be the next major assignment for Miss Three Stars after she backs up in the Winter Classic next Saturday.

"The next thing for us is a campaign back here in November. We'll run her in the New Zealand Cup," Beckett said.

"We have to after that, she'll do another round easy and she's gone two five (2500m) before and been placed so she'll get it (3200m).

Saturday's win was the biggest of Wynne's career and fittingly it came on a mare that has already given her two Listed Riverton Cup's.

Miss Three Stars jumped from barrier 13 but instead of going around the field, Wynne cut the corner and found a passage up the inside.

"If we didn't do that today I don't think we would have won," she said.

"We actually got checked at the bottom of the straight but it was probably a good thing because when it closed in on me that's when I went to the inside.

"At the 200 I thought I'd be happy if I'm placed here but she just didn't give up, she kept giving and giving.

"Tommy has done such a great job with her," Wynne said.

Wynne also believed the 55.5kg Miss Three Stars carried was crucial.

"It put her in as a competitive chance because she's been lugging around the higher weights lately. She's tough and she can handle it but at that weight today definitely helped."

Meanwhile, the Bruce Tapper-trained The Knight made it back-to-back victories at Riccarton when he defeated Scapolo​ to win the open sprint.