Local hope Great Shot has repelled the eastern invaders to lead all the way and cause an upset in Perth’s prestigious Railway Stakes at Ascot.
Trained by Rhys Radford, Great Shot ($31) was taken straight to the front by Craig Staples and had a kick at the end of the 1600 metres to beat Black Heart Bart ($8) in a photo-finish with Tom Melbourne registering another Group One placing just behind the pair.
Radford, 26, said Great Shot had had his share of problems, mainly with his back, and his performance was a credit to the team behind him.
“I’ve never had a horse try as hard as he does,” Radford told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
“It is a big team effort.
“I was just hoping his best was good enough.”
Staples, who has ridden Great Shot in all his 24 starts, said although he could feel the others coming, his confidence was still high.
“It’s a credit to the horse. He is so tough,” he said.
“I know what’s in him.
“This means everything.”
Black Heart Bart is originally from Perth but has been trained to all his five Group One wins by Darren Weir in Victoria.
“He tried his heart out,” Weir’s assistant Jarrod McLean said.
“He deserves to have six Group Ones and hopefully that will be in the Kingston Town Stakes in two weeks.”