The Queensland Sire’s Produce Stakes has once again thrown up plenty of drama, a scary moment and at the end of it one very impressive winner.
Hot Snitzel was first across the line and he did it with absolute ease streaking clear by four lengths down the home straight of Eagle Farm.
When the barriers opened though there was high drama with one of the favourites Free Wheeling rearing just before the gates opened.
Jockey Corey Brown was incredibly lucky to not be injured as the horse came down hard underneath the barriers and was trapped on the ground.
With video footage clearly showing the horse was in the air before the gates opened the general consensus was that Free Wheeling would be declared a non-runner.
Amazingly though stewards declared he was a starter and that he was afforded the same opportunity as every other horse.
It’s a decision that will cause huge controversy but ultimately take nothing away from the winner Hot Snitzel.
He settled brilliantly in this run and as a result had enough left in the straight to show a real kick.
The effectiveness of the kick probably surprised everyone though as he went clear by at least four lengths and no other horse made any ground on him at all.
Hugh Bowman was the jockey aboard and the win by Hot Snitzel breaks the incredible run by Darley during the two-year-old races in 2011.
“It was unknown ground but he settled beautifully, the pace was strong it suited him,” Bowman said.
“When the leader dropped off he just took the race by his hands, it was great.”
Hot Snitzel ran ok in Sydney and did enough to gain a start in the Golden Slipper but he lacked the quality to even get close on the big stage.
His first run in Queensland on the Gold Coast signalled he meant business when he destroyed a local field and many tipped him as the Sires favourite.
That changed a bit after he raced erratically last start at Doomben but he was always going to be the one to beat if Bowman could get him to relax.
“I think he’s just a horse that lacks a bit of confidence,” Bowman said.
“Everything went really well today and I was just able to keep him happy.”
Assuming he pulls up well there’s no reason Hot Snitzel won’t stretch his campaign even further and take on the Group 1 TJ Smith as well.
“On that run I’d be pretty happy he could back up and do it again,” Bowman said.
Playtime ran home a distant second in the Sires Produce Stakes with Mahisara in third.