Dothraki held-off a fast finishing Safeguard and Palmera Lad to win the 2014 Gold Coast Guineas by the narrowest of margins at the Gold Coast this afternoon.
Dothraki stormed clear from the rest of the field when asked for an extra effort by Nash Rawiller and looked as though he was going to win the race in dominant fashion, but he tired badly in the final stages of the race while a number of his rivals flew down the outside of the track.
Safeguard and Palmera La both hit the line at the same time as Dothraki and it looked as though the Darley-trained colt may have stolen victory, but the official photo showed that Dothraki had held-on to score his maiden win at Group level.
Dothraki finished his 2013 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a narrow win in the Listed Hilton Hotels And Resorts Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on November 9 and performed well without winning in both the Listed Gosford Guineas (1200m) on April 6 and the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) at the start of his autumn preparation.
The Mossman colt is expected to remain in Queensland for the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and he has been included in the nominations for both the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) at Doomben on May 24 and the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7.
Safeguard has not recorded a race win since he won the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) at the start of his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and started his winter campaign with a disappointing performance in the Royal Sovereign Stakes, but appears to have returned to his best form in what was his final race start for trainer Peter Snowden.
Roslyn Pratt-trained Palmera Lad started the 2014 Gold Coast Guineas at lucrative odds, but was arguably the run of the race in what was his maiden start at black type level.
Impressive filly Enquare started the Gold Coast Guineas as a clear favourite and loomed as though she was going to factor in the finish, but died on her run at the 100 metre mark and could finish no better than seventh.
The Gold Coast Guineas win was trainer Gerald Ryan’s second victory of the day after talented gelding Dances On Stars recorded an impressive win in the Listed Prime Minister’s Cup.