A well-judged front running ride from Todd Pannell saw Despatch deliver an all the way win for trainer Tony McEvoy in the Group 1 $750,000 The Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville today.
Despatch’s normal pattern of racing is sit off the pace but after jumping quickly and wanting to get on with the job, Pannell elected to let the Tony McEvoy trained gelding slide to the front and set the pace.
Pannell rated the four year old to perfection out in front and had a head to spare on the line when the judge called a halt to the famous 1200m sprint.
The three year old Behemoth ($13) ran on strongly from midfield to claim second prize ahead of the $3.20 favourite Spright who stuck to the inside rail in the straight.
Despatch has worked his way up through the grades and claimed his fourth win on the trot in The Goodwood after claiming a hat trick with his win in the Group 3 $150,000 D C McKay Stakes (1100m) at Morphettville two weeks ago.
Despite his recent outstanding form, Despatch was still sent out as one of the outsiders of the field at $21.
“What a courageous performance,” McEvoy said.
“He led today and that wasn’t really our plan but I told Todd just ride to ride him where he was comfortable and the horse took it up and what a fantastic performance.”
“Gee this horse has come a long way and he is a real bright sprinter.”
McEvoy is undecided if he will send Despatch for a well deserved break or head to Queensland for the Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8.
“He has done his job this prep probably,” McEvoy said.
“I have got him in the Stradbroke but we will make a decision whether we will go there or ait for the Spring.”