Consistent galloper Malaguerra could head straight into next month’s Stradbroke Handicap without another run after his fighting win in the Group One BTC Cup at Doomben.
An emotion-charged jockey Glenn Colless feared he might have got the lead too early on Malaguerra ($6.50) but the gelding fought on to beat Dothraki ($6.50) by a short half-head in the first Group One of the Brisbane winter carnival.
The favourite Japonisme ($3.40) was 1-1/4 lengths back in third place.
It was the first Group One for the Freedman brothers Lee and Anthony since they reunited in 2014.
Lee Freedman now has 125 Group One wins while Anthony won the 2012 Doomben Cup with Mawingo.
Malaguerra was having his first run since having no luck when sixth in the All Aged Stakes at Randwick on April 16.
Stable representative Steve Adams said there would be a discussion early next week to map out Malaguerra’s program.
“It does fall nicely, two weeks to the Doomben 10,000 and then two weeks to the Stradbroke. But Malaguerra is a very good fresh horses and that might be the way to go,” Adams said.
It was an emotional day for Colless who has battled injury in recent years.
“I am in the twilight of my career so this was something very special. I lost a good friend in my personal trainer earlier this year and a few other things have gone against me,” he said.
“I was happy when I got to the fence but I thought I might have hit the lead too early in the straight.
“But he did just keep giving when challenged.”
Dothraki battled bravely to almost give the Snowden training combination back-to-back wins in the Cup.
However, jockey Blake Shinn could not offer any excuses.
“I followed the winner the whole way and had my chance in the straight,” he said.
Glyn Schofield said his mount Japonisme had lost ground on the turn but had tried hard.
Wyong galloper Two Blue set a sizzling pace and held on well to finish fourth.
Jockey Michael Cahill was able to walk back to scale after falling from Artlee 50m past the post.
He was diagnosed with concussion and neck soreness.