Casual Choice has given trainer Tony Gollan consecutive wins in the $100,000 Gold Coast Stakes, but class galloper Sir Moments grabbed some limelight with a great comeback run.
Casual Choice ($9) held out the fast-finishing Sir Moments ($7.50) by a half neck with 1-1/4 lengths to Mahican ($14) in a thrilling finish.
Gollan won the Gold Coast Stakes with Rocket To Glory last year and is now looking to the winter carnival with Casual Choice who has won three races for him since joining his stable from Sydney.
“Casual Choice ran smart time today and he held off a class horse in Sir Moments in the final stages,” Gollan said.
“We can now plan for the early sprint races in the winter such as the Toowoomba Weetwood or the Prime Minister’s Cup at the Gold Coast.”
Gollan has won 10 feature races this season and believes he can win several more in the winter.
Casual Choice lifted his prize money past $370,000 which should assure him of a start in some of the better stakes races during the carnival.
Trainer Steve O’Dea was thrilled with the return of five-times stakes-winning Sir Moments who was having his first start since in almost a year after injury and illness.
“If he got the right run on the home corner I think he wins,” O’Dea said.
“It is great to have him back and we will be able to plot a course to the Doomben Cup through the Tails Handicap and Hollindale Cup in coming weeks.”
Jockey Paul Hammersley said Sir Moments wanted to duck in when he went past Mahican and that cost him the race.
“He is a class-act and I think he is in for a big campaign,” he said.
Promising three year old Soldier of War ($7) continued his path towards a winter carnival campaign with an easy win in the XXXX Gold Handicap.