Stable foreman Holly Williams had special reason to be happy when the Tony Gollan-trained Frespanol returned to his best form at Doomben on Saturday.
Williams was in charge of Gollan’s team at Doomben while the trainer was with Most Important at Caulfield in Melbourne.
Frespanol ($5.50) returned to some of the form he showed earlier in his career in Sydney when he beat stablemate Charlie Boy ($4) by 1-1/4 lengths in the Brisbane BMW Handicap.
In a twist Gollan was also away for Frespanol’s last win at the Sunshine Coast in November.
But Williams has a close association with the gelding, having been with him in a float which tipped down an embankment on the way to a Sunshine Coast meeting in April last year.
Williams and the other staff received widespread praise for ensuring the four horses in the float – Frespanol, Whiskey Allround, Casual Choice and Jetsonic – all escaped serious injury.
Witnesses to the accident said it was a miracle no one was killed after the float veered off the Bruce Highway and slid on its side down an 8m embankment.
“Frespanol has been a favourite of mine since I was in the float with him when it went down the embankment,” she said.
“He has a new set of owners and they are thrilled with the win so it has been a good day.”
Frespanol was having his first start in a month but had won a Doomben barrier trial two weeks ago.
It completed a winning double for Gollan and jockey Robbie Fradd after they earlier combined with three-year-old Umberto.
They also had a second with Jetsonic who rattled home late to be second behind Sweet Repeat ($51) who won the Big Chop Handicap.
Sweet Repeat’s win was the second leg of a double for apprentice Ruby Ride who is on the comeback trail after a series of injuries.
Apprentice Jag Guthmann-Chester rode his first Saturday metropolitan win and his fourth city victory overall when Stanley ($4) won a benchmark 75 race over 2200m.
“I have ridden three midweek city winners so it is good to get on the board on a Saturday,” Guthmann-Chester said.
It has also been a good start to the season for Stanley’s trainer Michael Costa who also owns a third of the gelding.
“I have won seven races with my past 10 runners,” said Costa, who also won the first race at the Gold Coast with Malkara.