Smart filly Missy Longstocking lost no admirers even though she was beaten in the Listed $100,000 Moreton Hire Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast today.
Missy Longstocking jumped from the outside of the fourteen horse field with Damian Browne deciding to cross over behind and settle the filly near the tail of the field.
Browne stuck to the fence rounding the home turn and after running into a little bit of trouble in the early stages of the straight, eased to the outside to run home strongly to finish fourth to Le Val.
“It was always our plan to go back and ride her conservatively because of the outside barrier,” Browne said.
“She was held up behind slow horses at a vital stage but when she got into the clear at the 300 metres I thought she hit the line nicely.”
Le Val was only having his second race start and with the blinkers on was able to lift for Ric McMahon over the final stages to score an impressive win over Londehero and Diamond Oasis.
“I thought he was a bit unlucky when he had his first start and if he was concentrating properly he might have won,” winning trainer Noel Doyle said said.
“That’s why I put the blinkers on him and when I saw this race on the calendar I thought it would be ideal for him.”
The three placegetters as well as Missy Longstocking will no doubt clash again over the Winter Carnival with the Group 2 $250,000 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Doomben on May 25 and the Group 1 $500,000 Patinack Farm J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 8 the main prizes.
Miss Longstocking was having her first start since running third to Real Surreal in the $2m Jeep Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast earlier in the year with Browne riding her quietly that day as well.
“She showed in the Magic Millions that she could get back, relax and still hit the line,” trainer Liam Birchley said.
The Noel Doyle trained Le Val started at the good odds of $13 and despite Miss Longstocking drawing the outside gate was still sent out the $3.80 favourite.