Four year old Music Magnate was able to get the judge’s decision in a tight finish to take out the Group 3 $150,000 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) at Randwick today.
After a lengthy perusal of the photo print, the judge was able to put Music Magnate’s number eleven in the frame after he and Knoydart crossed the line together in a thrilling finish.
Winning jockey Brenton Avdulla thought that Music Magnate ($5.50) had been beaten and the cameraman thought the same as he zoomed into runner up Knoydart ($31).
But the judge gave Music Magnate the nod by the shortest possible margin with Fast ‘N’ Rocking ($11) filling third spot close up in a blanket finish.
“I thought I had got nutted,” Avdulla said.
“Someone come pass me and said, you got it, and I said No.”
“It is always nice to see your number in the frame and he is a darn good horse going forward.”
“I was the winner everywhere, well I thought I was the winner everywhere until the post. It was a nice surprise.”
Avdulla had Music Magnate travelling sweetly outside of the leader Speak Fondly ($3.60 favourite) and gained the front coming over the rise and fought hard in the straight to hold off all the challengers.
Speak Fondly ended up in seventh spot, less than two lengths from the winner.
Winning trainer Bjorn Baker said that it was tough first up win for Music Magnate who recorded his fifth win from ten starts with today’s victory.
Baker had given the Written Tycoon four year old two winning barrier trials heading into the Hall Mark Stakes but wasn’t sure if he was ready for the 1200m first up.
“It was good effort first up today 1200m,” Baker said.
“Last time he didn’t really peak until third and fourth up and I think he has a heap of improvement.”