Tony Gollan breathed a sigh of relief after easing off favorite Neptune who held out for victory in the Ken Russell Memorial Classic to maintain his unbeaten record.
It wasn’t a one-act Neptune expected but expensive purchase did enough to remain undefeated, as Tony Gollan’s mind was already spinning to unleash another stellar two-year-old foal next Saturday.
Neptune, a $ 500,000 buyout, scored three out of three by winning the Ken Russell Memorial Classic of Group 3 on the Gold Coast, where he was ejected by the $ 2.20 favorite.
Neptune was adrift in betting when punters arrived for Annabel Neasham’s young West Of Africa ($ 9.50 in $ 4.60) and Stroll ($ 11 in $ 8) from Matt Hoysted and Steve O ‘stables. Goddess.
Neptune got the chocolates even though he was taking small steps towards the finish line when the roughie Midnight In Tokyo ($ 31) trained by Kacy Fogden scared the favorite into approach.
Fogden said her filly tasted the heavy Gold Coast trail which helped her nearly eliminate the favorite.
Gollan was breathing a sigh of relief and said that Neptune, who was not at his best on the heavy track, would be immediately ruled out for a spell.
As a two-year-old Gollan colt is making his way to the paddock, Gollan confirmed that JJ Atkins’ Group 1 $ 11 Capital Tower, the Capital Tower, will return to Group 2’s Spirit Of Boom Classic next Saturday in Doomben.
Gollan said the work has been done for Neptune which he believes will be a much better horse when he returns in the spring.
“He wasn’t the best version of himself today,” Gollan said.
“He wasn’t as good as he had been.
“I was very worried going out of corners when he (jockey Ryan Maloney) had to ask him to enter the race because he usually got through his gears well and today he didn’t.
“But there is a lot to look forward to in the spring with him now.”
Meanwhile, Lloyd Kennewell always thought he had the best speedster in Bat Out Of Hell, and so it proved that the Victorian mare Esta La Roca caused an upset.
Esta La Roca was eliminated at $ 8.50 after flopping his first run in Queensland three weeks earlier with most of the shortcourse specialists Remlaps Gem ($ 2.35) to get the money in the Bat Out Of Hell.
But Ben Thompson produced a smart lap on Esta La Roca, leaving him late to pounce and chase the favorite as he got to the better part of the heavy track.
Kennewell had always been bullish.
“Today I always thought he was the best horse in the race,” he said.
Originally published as Ken Russell Memorial Classic: Relief for Tony Gollan after Neptune holds out to win