Milford has taken out the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday in a tight photo, the Mike Maroney-trained gelding getting the nod by an official 0.1 length margin.
Ridden by Patrick Maloney, Milford enjoyed an inside run off the speed from barrier one before peeling out around the home turn and looming up to the Steve Richards-trained front runner Holbein (+1300).
A back and forth length of the straight battle ensued with Milford (+750) eventually prevailing on the line in the photo.
Mandella Effect, trained by Patrick Payne was two lengths away in third having started at a whopping +9000 with online bookmakers.
With Maroney in Sydney saddling up Tofane in her farewell run in the All Aged Stakes, assistant trainer Glen Thompson was representing the stable at Caulfield today,
“He’s come back better as a gelding,” Thompson said. “He showed a fair bit early on but lost his way a bit as a colt.
“He came back last time as a gelding but struggled a little bit. Mike put him in a paddock, and he’s come back great this prep.
“His two runs leading into this were outstanding and he really flew under the radar.
“It just looked like he was crying out for the 2000m and he showed that today.”
It was just the second career win from 15 starts for the four-year-old son of Savabeel.
His only other win being at Listed level over 2100m in New Zealand as a three-year-old nearly 15 months ago.
Patrick Moloney said looming up so early might not have been to his advantage.
“He had a bit of a think about it,” he said. “He’s only won one race in his time, so he had a good think about it when he hit the front.
“He stargazed a bit, but good to get the job done on this horse who I’ve been on him last start and followed him through, so it is good to get the job done for Mike.
“He’s a tough old horse, Holbien, and he goes well around Caulfield,” Moloney said.
“I followed him, he rolled along at a good clip and the 2000 metres, Holbien probably just gets that.
“My fellow was eating up the 2000 stepping up from the mile today.”