The pre-race drama surrounding the withdrawal of the favourite could not take the gloss off Dissident’s win in the Hobartville Stakes.
El Roca was taken out of Saturday’s Group Two race at Rosehill by stewards after he was found to have been given a treatment on Friday morning against the rules.
Racing NSW investigator Nathan Hayward discovered a mark on El Roca’s neck during an inspection at Randwick of horses entered for Saturday’s racing.
Tests were taken from El Roca, who had been given an alkalinising agent by trainer Trent Busuttin’s vet, and although he was under the TCO2 threshold, stewards exercised their discretion to scratch the colt.
That left Woodbine as the $3.40 favourite but he could only muster enough in the wet to finish fourth with Dissident ($4) taking control after racing on the pace and holding off New Zealander Atlante ($8.50) by a head.
It was a welcome turnaround for the Peter Moody-trained colt which had not won since he claimed last year’s Blue Diamond Preview on debut and finished second to El Roca two weeks ago.
“This will be a real confidence burst for him,” Moody’s Sydney representative Claire Cunningham said.
“He really deserves it.
“The idea was to go forward and keep him working. He will switch off if you let him.
“He heads to the Randwick Guineas and the Rosehill Guineas and maybe even the Derby.
“He looks like he will appreciate extra ground and this win today will toughen him up.”
Dissident was ridden by Jim Cassidy who made sure he kept him moving before he entered the barrier stalls to keep him concentrating.
Atlante is also headed to the Group One Randwick Guineas (1600m) in two weeks with his trainer Murray Baker impressed with his effort on an unsuitable surface.
“He was flat at the 800 (metres) and he hadn’t raced for four months so it was a good effort,” Baker said.
“The only other time he has raced in the wet he finished 30 lengths last so he will be better on a good track.
“Hopefully he gets that in the Randwick Guineas.”
Savvy Nature ($11) ran home well to finish 1-1/2 lengths from the runner-up on his path to the three-year-old Group One features.
Busuttin said El Roca would be entered for next week’s Liverpool City Cup at Warwick Farm.