Man Booker has scored a consolation win, with things finally going his way in the $175,000 Eye Liner Stakes (1350m).
The Perth galloper has form around some of the best horses in West Australia and was considered a genuine chance in three Group One sprints: the Doomben 10,000, Kingsford Smith Cup and Stradbroke Handicap.
He had no luck in any and failed to run a place.
Heavily backed in to $4.20, favourite Man Booker was given the run of the race in Ipswich on Saturday by Hong Kong-bound Blake Shinn before beating Astoria ($41) by a neck.
Chapter and Verse ($7) came from near last to be third a length back.
Trainer Dan Morton said it was time Man Booker had a change of luck.
“He was dogged by bad barriers in the big races and he just had no luck. You can’t win big races without luck,” he said.
“Man Booker had the luck today. I suppose it wasn’t in the races we wanted but it is still a nice consolation.”
Morton said Man Booker would now head back to Perth to prepare for the summer carnival and the Group One Railway Stakes.
“If we went to Caloundra for the Glasshouse race it would prolong his trip too much,” he said.
Shinn has based himself in Queensland for the winter and ridden 25 winners since April.
He begins six months in Hong Kong in September and showed why he is so highly rated with his ride.
“We got into a nice place from a tricky barrier and we were there to win it on the turn,” he said.
Trainer Diane Murphy was thrilled with Astoria who will press on to the Caloundra meeting.
“Not bad for a long shot. He will win a good race soon,” she said.
Mark Du Plessis said Chapter and Verse had done a good job after being forced back to second last in the middle stages.
“He really got home well and it was another great run,” he said.