A fast-finishing Royal Tithe upstaged short-priced favourite Impending to record an upset victory in the 2016 Ken Russell Memorial Classic at the Gold Coast this afternoon.
Royal Tithe went into the Ken Russell Memorial Classic on the back of a strong victory in the Mary Valley Farm Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on March 5, but there was very little betting support for the daughter of Show A Heart and all the money was for Impending.
Puppari took up the running in the early stages of the race and she made sure that the Ken Russell Memorial Classic was run at a good gallop, which suited Royal Tithe who flew home down the outside of the track to record a narrow victory from a gallant Oink and an unlucky Impending.
While there no money for Royal Tithe, John Zielke admitted after the race that he was very optimistic about the chances of the filly in the Ken Russell Memorial Classic and he was quick to pay credit to the patient ride of Luke Dittman – who made the decision to ride Royal Tithe rather than her stablemate Spot The Diff.
“She is a good filly,” Zielke said.
“She jumped out very well last week for Luke and that was his choice – he got off Spot The Diff and that should have been the tip for it.
“She was a little bit further back than I expected, but there was a lot of speed on and that horse at the front put an enormous amount of pace into the race, which probably suited a back mark horse like her.
“What a sensational ride.”
Impending went into the Ken Russell Memorial Classic as a very short-priced favourite after he made his racing debut with a very impressive victory in the Pluck At Vinery Handiap (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 23, but nothing went his way in the run.
The Lonhro colt was shuffled back through the field in the early stages of the race and jockey James McDonald was unable to find clear running for the two-year-old before the race was all but over.
Zielke confirmed that Royal Tithe will press on to the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on May 28.