The two runners at the top of the weights in the Aquis Gold Nugget … Finance Tycoon and Shaquero … showed why they carried the number one and number two saddle cloths in this race for two-year-old colts and geldings, as they engaged in a spirited two-horse battle down the home straight, leaving the rest of their rivals chasing shadows.
Their private battle raged in three parts. When Finance Tycoon first ranged up alongside Shaquero, it appeared the Dabernig and Hayes trained son of Written Tycoon would go right past Chris Waller’s charge.
The tide turned briefly when Shaquero then kicked again and appeared to be about to see off his only challenger, but Luke Nolen then extracted the extra effort required from Finance Tycoon when it mattered most to get his mount to fight on strongly enough to take the honours.
“It was a very good job by both the horse and the team back home, because he (Finance Tycoon) never really went out of work,” said co-trainer Ben Hayes. “He stayed in … so he has been in work since the Spring Carnival.
“We just kept ticking him over, so he had nice residual fitness on him.
“I thought it was a great ride by Luke (Nolen). He really jumped well and put himself in a nice position. I haven’t watched the reply yet, but it did look to me like he star-gazed a bit and didn’t quite know how to put them away … but he got there and that’s all that counts.
“He definitely has improvement in him from today. If you look at him in the mounting yard he looks like a three year old. He is a horse that keeps stepping up to the mark for us which is really exciting.
“We didn’t have him wound up to win, so today he was only eighty percent fit. We want him primed for the Magic Millions Classic.
“If he pulls up well, I think he is a great chance there.”