It was third-time lucky for Geoff Duryea and Front Page in The Kosciuszko at Randwick, and how did he feel about it?
Duryea’s gelding was an impressive winner in the $2 million sprint for top country horses, and it was a just reward for the short-distance star.
In 2020, he was scratched after becoming fractious in the float enroute to Sydney.
And last year, he had to be withdrawn a couple of days before the race after sustaining a ligament injury.
2022 The Kosciuszko Replay
But at peak fitness on Saturday, Front Page was sensational, holding off favourite Far Too Easy from his leading position at the turn.
“Bloody good,” Duryea said when asked how he felt after the race.
“Third time lucky. The first time was just a freak accident, the second time there was nothing we could do about it. But he’s done the right thing this time, I’ve a had perfect preparation.
“He’s had two barrier trials at Wangaratta. He’s won them both and I couldn’t ask for any more.”
Duryea said Front Page’s courage enabled him to hold of Far Too Easy for David McColm on the straight.
“He’s got a pretty big ticker. I wasn’t overly worried because I thought getting past him, that’s going to be the hard part,” he said.
Winning jockey Tyler Schiller was also in awe of Front Page’s courage after his mount wanted to find the front.
“I didn’t actually want to lead and when he just took me to the front under his own terms, I was just happy to go with the horse,” he said.
“I know how much ability he has and when he gave a kick at the top of the straight, I actually thought he was pretty vulnerable. But he’s toughed it out super and he’s a ripper horse.”