Like An Eagle has overcome a bad start in today’s Listed Hareeba Stakes at Mornington to win the race by a length.
The race had a dramatic start when Del Palio was the shock late scratching after playing up in the barrier stalls.
The incident caused eventual winner Like An Eagle, who was in the stall next to Del Palio, to be vetted before the race.
Despite the pre-race commotion, Like An Eagle settled into a plum position throughout the race and produced a spectacular sprint finish down the straight to steal the win away from runner up Eight Bills.
Marveen finished home in third position, while last year’s winner Zedi Knight passed the post in fourth.
Trainer Clint Price was pleased Like An Eagle was able to win today’s Hareeba Stakes, after finishing second by a nose to Pago Rock at Sandown last start.
“It’s great to actually get him over the line,” Price said.
“He’s got a lot of ability this guy so we’ll keep him over here for a few more starts and see how we go.”
Like An Eagle will have one more race in Melbourne before heading towards the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap on March 10.
“The next race we have picked out for him is at Moonee Valley on a Friday night in a couple of weeks,” Price said.
“And everything going well we’ll look towards the Newmarket.”
Like An Eagle had his first eight starts in Western Australia before Price made the decision to bring him to Victoria following his impressive trial win at Bunbury on January 6.
“It was always just an afterthought; we wanted to make sure he was right,” he said.
“We waited until he trialled in Bunbury.”
Jockey Damien Oliver was aboard the Oratorio gelding for his Hareeba Stakes win.
“Lovely win. It meant a lot to us,” Oliver said.
“The Price family was always very close, particularly to my brother.”
Oliver said Like An Eagle is continuing to improve.
“He was a bit fresh the other day but he settled nicely today,” he said.
“It’s not beyond him to be a nice handicap (horse).
“(He’s) the kind of horse you want in a big sprint handicap.”
Like An Eagle has now won six of his ten race starts and earned more than $200,000 in prize money.