Toowoomba trainer Michael Nolan produced track specialist Miss Imagica first up to win his first Weetwood Handicap at Toowoomba today.
Miss Imagica made it seven wins on the cushion track in taking out the $150,000 Kristy Banks Weetwood Handicap (1200m) with an aggressive ride from local boy Norifumi Yamada.
In an all Toowoomba finish, the Tony Gollan trained Cariad ran home strongly for Skye Bogenhuber with Chris Munce on Norm Hilton’s Reilly Blue filling third spot.
The Robert Heathcote trained Mondean began quickly and went straight to the lead with the short priced favourite The Ringmaster sitting on his outside.
Coming to the home turn The Ringmaster dropped off Mondean when Paul Hammerlsey made his move but no sooner had he reached the lead when Miss Imagica pounced.
Yamada skipped away on Miss Imagica and the Hidden Dragon mare showed her liking for the cushion track and easily held runner up Cariad in taking out Toowoomba’s most famous feature race.
The Weetwood had eluded Nolan until today even though he has ten Toowoomba training premierships to his credit.
“The Weetwood is a race I’ve found nearly impossible to win,” Nolan said.
“I’ve had some good runners and I’ve gone close but it is such a tough race.”
“Prince Hakeem is the closest I’ve come and Al Fonso was very unlucky one year.”
The Ringmaster ($2.10 fav) faded in the straight to finish fourth while Heathcote’s other runner Gundy Son failed to figure in the race at any stage and could only beat two runners home, one of which was Mondean.
With such an outstanding record on the cushion track, Miss Imagica was sent out at the surprisingly good odds of $8.