An outstanding ride from jockey Damian Browne helped Hopfgarten record a dominant victory in the 2016 Wayne Wilson Mile at Eagle Farm this morning.
Hopfgarten jumped from an outside alley, but he showed plenty of early speed and he was still able to cross the rest of the field to take up the running.
Browne was not happy with the speed coming around the turn and he allowed Hopfgarten to stride away from his rivals, which proved to be the winning move as the Mossman gelding kicked well clear of the rest of the Wayne Wilson Mile field and he never looked like being caught.
The veteran jockey said that he was very pleased to finally be back at Eagle Farm and he was delighted that Hopfgarten received the opportunity to show his best form after having no luck at his past two starts.
“It was great and it is just great to be back here at Eagle Farm,” Browne said.
“This fellow was able to show his best.
“He hasn’t had a lot of luck at times and he got a bit of luck today, so it fell his way.
“When he is right he is hard to beat this horse, he is a pretty handy horse and full credit to Rob and the team, who had him spot on today.
“I was able to go forward and put myself into the race.
“Everything pretty well worked out as planned and I couldn’t be happier.”
Hopfgarten was given an opportunity in Melbourne at Group 1 level in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and Toorak Handicap and he raced fairly without a great of luck before he returned to Brisbane for a summer campaign.
He returned to winning form first-up in the at the Sunshine Coast on April 23 and he performed well without a great deal of luck once again in the Group 3 Prime Minister’s Cup (1400m) at the Gold Coast on May 7 and the Group 3 Lord Mayor’s Cup (1615m) at Doomben on May 28.
Pajaro produced another consistent performance to finish the Wayne Wilson Mile in second position, while Amovatio flew home from the tail of the field to finish third and would have been tough to beat if he had settled closer in the run.
The best-backed runner in the lead-up to the Wayne Wilson Mile was Religify, but he was never able to get into the race.