MELBOURNE May 26 AAP – Like most racegoers Leon Corstens was surprised when Alpha Proxima got a photo finish verdict in the PFD Food Services Handicap at Caulfield.
In a deceptive finish the grey scored by a nose from three-year-old filly Johannapine who rallied strongly on the rails in Saturday’s 1000m sprint.
“To be honest I thought the inside horse had kicked and we’d got beaten,” Corstens said.
Jockey Damien Oliver said he was relieved when Alpha Proxima’s number went up.
“I wasn’t sure whether we’d won or not,” Oliver said.
Alpha Proxima is a noted wet tracker and appreciated the slow going at Caulfield after finding the track too firm last start when unplaced at Wagga.
Johannapine was the $2.50 favourite on Saturday and was resuming after she was unplaced for the first time in her career in the Oakleigh Plate in February.
Alpha Proxima had strong support from $7 and $5.50 and Oliver rode him a half kilo over his 54kg which almost proved costly.
Steven King and Daniel Stackhouse also rode a half kilo over the 54kg minimum on third-placed Johnny Fiasco and Forty Two Below (sixth) respectively.
Corstens said Alpha Proxima would have his next start in the $100,000 Golden Topaz (1200m) at Swan Hill on June 8.