Trainer Michael Nolan thanked his lucky stars he changed his mind and didn’t scratch Upstart Pride before the gelding won the Listed Goldmarket Stakes (1200m) on Saturday.
Upstart Pride ($7.50) burned the Gold Coast turf leading all of the way to beat Jopa ($12) by 1-1/4 lengths with a neck to Flamboyer ($3.70 favourite) third in the $100,000 race.
Nolan said he had come close to scratching Upstart Pride on Saturday morning.
“I was really worried about the track. He has won in soft going but I thought the track might be really heavy and he just doesn’t handle it,” Nolan said.
“It was only when we heard it had dried out to a soft rating we decided to run.”
Upstart Pride has been in great form and took his prize money to $450,000 with his third win from his past four starts.
The gelding had been slow to jump in several races but Nolan worked long and hard on getting him right.
The obvious race for Upstart Pride is the Listed Weetwood Handicap (1200m) in Toowoomba on April 8, but Nolan is not so sure.
“I suppose I will have to have a think about the Weetwood now but he isn’t as effective in Toowoomba even though it is his home track,” Nolan said.
Upstart Pride is raced by breeder Bob Frappell whose sire Tycoon Ruler got the quinella with Upstart Pride and Jopa.
In an ironic twist trainer Rob Heathcote was left to rue that more rain had not hit the Gold Coast for Jopa.
“I would have loved another 20 millimetres for Jopa as he loves really wet tracks. But he ran great again,” Heathcote said.
Kelly Doughty said her horse Flamboyer had tried hard but was another who would have loved more rain.
Speedy filly Moshki probably sealed her sale when she won the Simplot Foodservices Handicap (900m).
Moshki did her early racing in Adelaide but was having her second run for Wauchope trainer Colt Prosser.
“I went to school with one of her owners, Kelly Fawcett, and they asked me if I would help get her ready for sale. I trialled her a couple of times and when she won one by 11 lengths we decided to continue racing her,” Prosser said.
“She didn’t seem to handle Eagle Farm when beaten first up but she went like we thought she could today.
“This will probably seal her sale as a broodmare but the new owners might want to race on with her.”
Trainer Tony Gollan, who won earlier with Miss Exfactor, got a double when former Sydney galloper Brazen Moss won the Perfect Italiano Plate (1400m).
“He is another horse I have for Triple Syndications who was trained by Peter and Paul Snowden. They always come to us in perfect nick so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel.”