Honest sprinter Ahdashim returned from seven months on the sidelines with a gutsy win at Rosehill on Saturday but he had to survive a protest before being declared the winner.
The Gerald Ryan-trained Ahdashim ($9) had not started since March but fought right to the line to defeat the resuming Latin News ($4.20) by a head in the Turner Freeman Hcp (1100m).
Tromso ($4.80) was another half-length away third.
Nathan Berry, rider of Latin News, fired in a protest alleging Josh Parr on Ahdashim had struck Latin News twice on the nose with his whip inside the final 100 metres.
Chief Steward Ray Murrihy identified one occasion where Parr’s whip had flicked the nose of Latin News but was quick to dismiss the objection.
“It’s not enough to uphold the objection but what it does is save you a hit in the back pocket (fine) for lodging a frivolous protest,” Murrihy told Berry.
Ahdashim settled in behind the speed but got into the clear on the inside of Latin News as the field straightened for home.
The stakeswinner went on to record his seventh win from 30 starts.
The six-year-old’s victory could have earned him a late carnival appearance in Melbourne for the Listed Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300m) at Sandown in two weeks time.
“It was a tough win, he’s a good horse on his day and his form shows that,” Parr said.
“I’ve been doing a bit of trackwork for Gerald two days a week and I’m starting to get to know his horses. This horse had been working really well and he trialled well on Tuesday.
“I was confident he would run well if given the right ride and I think I did that.”
Ahdashim hurt one of his hind legs while in his box in April and was given three months in the paddock before returning to prepare for his current campaign.
Berry labelled Latin News’ first start for trainer David Payne as a “huge run” while trainer Darren Smith said Group One winner Atomic Force “ran super”, finishing fourth with 61kg.
“He had a tough run and was beaten a length and a half,” Smith said.
“He’s nominated for Hong Kong (Hong Kong Sprint) so if we’re lucky enough to get an invite we may press on and go to Hong Kong with him.”