The decision to bypass the Hollindale Stakes with Brandenburg and target a lucrative prize money purse closer to home has reaped the perfect reward for trainer John Sargent, even if he wasn’t trackside to see it.
Brandenburg was slated to contest the Gold Coast feature and the Sydney-based trainer and his wife booked a trip north to watch him.
But when the horse was made first emergency for the Hollindale, Sargent changed course and sent him to the inaugural edition of the $500,000 The Coast (1600m) at Gosford, which Brandenburg won in spectacular fashion on Saturday.
“We had arranged to come up here with my wife and have a two-day holiday,” Sargent said.
“Then Brandenburg was made first emergency in the Hollindale, so I decided to run him in The Coast but we still came to the Gold Coast.
“What more could I do? I just cheered him home from here.”
Placed in the Doncaster Mile at three, Brandenburg could not recapture that form in the spring so the decision was made to geld him.
After kicking off his autumn with two luckless runs and looking for his first win since the Hobartville Stakes in February last year, Brandenburg was given a perfectly-judged ride by Regan Bayliss, who found a position midfield and chimed in down the outside to score.
Sargent confirmed the horse would now head to Brisbane for a two-start winter campaign.
“It gives me a lot of satisfaction to see him back winning again.”
The victory was also satisfying for Bayliss, who travelled to Gosford for one ride.
“He’d had two luckless runs back this campaign. Today, the plan was to go forward from the widest barrier but there was just a little bit too much good speed for my liking going into that first bend,” Bayliss said.
“So I came back and slotted in midfield and I had a lovely run following Nimalee. I got a good cart up and he let down really nicely.
“This is his first prep now as a gelding. I think he’s come back in tremendous order, a lot more focused horse, so the world is his oyster and I’m sure ‘Sarge’ will place him right.”
Brandenburg ($8.50) unleashed a withering finish to win by a half-length over Nudge ($6.50) with Brutality ($12) a nose away third.