The move by Flemington trainer John Sadler to put the blinkers on Linton paid off with the grey taking out the Group 1 $1.36m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm today.
A patient ride from Nicholas Hall brought Linton from third last on the home turn up along the fence to snatch victory from local hope Buffering, denying the top weight his first Group 1 win.
Streama also ran a mighty race and went to the line strongly for third.
The Stradbroke had been touted as a battle between the three year old contingents but that was not to be with the older sprinters filling the first six positions.
Hall didn’t panic from barrier sixteen and took Linton back to the rear of the field and was happy to wait until the home turn before moving up inside runners and replicated the run that 1977 Stradbroke winner Sir Wisp secured in winning with Glen Killen aboard.
Buffering with Damian Browne went to the lead in the early stages and set a solid tempo with Hot Snitzel sitting at his girth and that was what set it up for the late finish of Linton.
“The speed was good and it always is in these sort of races, that’s to be expected,” Hall said.
“He’s going as good as he has ever gone. I think that John has just found the right place for him.”
Troy Corstens representing the Sadler stable said that it had always been a long range plan to set Linton for the Stradbroke.
“John Sadler is just an absolute marvel. I always wanted to set this guy for an Australian Cup and Sads said ‘I think we can win a Stradbroke with him, I really don’t think that he stays’,” Corstens said.
“All credit goes to John, He picked this race out about twelve months ago and it’s come off today.”
Sadler brought Linton to Brisbane and put the blinkers on following two wins in Adelaide in the Autumn in the Listed $80,000 Holdfast Insurance City Of Adelaide Handicap (1400m) and the Group 3 $150,000 R A Lee Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville.
Linton was formerly owned by high profile Lloyd Williams and has done a lot of his racing in Group 1 company including the Cox Plate and a Melbourne Cup as well as being placed at Group 1 level on three occasions with a third in the Australian Guineas as a three year old as well as a second in the 2011 Australian Cup at Flemington and third in The BMW at Rosehill at his next start.
A disappointed Browne was stunned that Buffering was run down in the shadows of the post after having the race won at every other point.
“Turning for home they were going to have to run terrific sectionals or not go around a horse to beat us, and obviously the latter happened , he never went around a horse and he got us in the last stride,” Browne said.
“All credit to the horse he was tenacious, under the 58kg he just tries his guts out.”
Linton started at the good odds of $26 while Buffering was the $6.50 second favourite with Streama starting at $11.
Sizzling ($8) was the first three year old to finish in seventh spot while Your Song was sent out the top pick at $5 but could only manage to finish fourteenth.
The other three year olds Epaulette ($6.50) wound up in tenth spot while Better Than Ready ($9) ended up at the tail of the field.