Guard Of Honour got his nose down at the right time to record a narrow victory in the 2016 Heritage Stakes at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
Tango Rain started the Heritage Stakes as a clear favourite and he took up the running in the early stages of the race, but he was one of the first horses beaten as the swoopers stormed home late.
Guard Of Honour hit the front at the 100 metre mark and looked as though he was going to record a narrow victory, but he was forced to fight off the outsider Flash Fibian, who stormed down the outside.
Flash Fibian drew even with Guard Of Honour, but it was the Kris Lees-trained colt that got his head down at the right time to deliver jockey Hugh Bowman his second win of the afternoon.
Lees said after the race that he expects Guard Of Honour to take plenty of benefit from his Heritage Stakes victory and he indicated that the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick in a fortnight could be on the agenda for the son of Northern Meteor.
“He looked like he had plenty of horse underneath him, but it was very tight at the finish,” Lees said.
“He will definitely improve off the run, but he will probably need too to keep going forward.
“I was very pleased with the win, it was a really solid race.
“We will see how he comes through it, but there is another stakes race in two weeks’ time over 1200.
“Whether he is ready for that I don’t know, but we will see how he comes through today.
“He is a smart horse.”
Guard Of Honour made his racing debut in the Group 3 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on January 30 and he failed to beat home a single runner, but he started his spring campaign with a comfortable win at Warwick Farm on June 15 and he is clearly a horse with plenty of potential.
Flash Fibian started the race at a big price after recording back-to-back victories at Wagga Wagga at the end of his autumn campaign and he was almost able to pinch an upset victory with his impressive performance.
Tango Rain tired late to miss the placings, while Jericho loomed as the winner before dying on his run with 150 metres left in the race.