Sydney two year old Stronger showed his strength when he out slogged the favourite Accession to win the Group 3 $140,000 Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast today.
Even though Stronger ($3.80) hadn’t raced for a month, he was still able to out muscle the Chris Waller trained Accession ($1.75 favourite) on the heavy 9 rated track to gain a nose verdict on the line.
Take Tea ($11) was the first of the locals to greet the judge three and a half lengths a long way back in third place.
Stronger and Accession both settled in the second half of the field in the early stages of the race with James McDonald on Accession making his move at the 600m.
The Waller trained colt skipped to the front half way down the straight out in the middle of the track, but Blake Shinn was hot in pursuit on Stronger.
The two colts had a tough tussle over the final fifty metres with the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Stronger getting the upper hand in the shadows of the post.
“To his credit through he has had a good time in between drinks and hasn’t had too much work in between,” Paul Snowden said.
“So we didn’t want him to go too aggressive and we had no worries about getting back and settling.”
“Just getting to the right part of the track is the key today.”
“He had been a little bit unlucky throughout the Sydney Carnival when he got dragged back a few times through bad barriers, just getting pulled out of his comfort zone to a degree,” Snowden said.
“But he handled the wet conditions good and that was the key today.”
“I thought it turned out lovely and we always wanted to follow that horse (Accession) and have last divs at him and we have been too good.”
Snowden said that Stronger will now go back to his Randwick stable in Sydney and the Team will sit down and work out the rest of his Queensland Winter Carnival program.