Stable representative Mel Eggleston believes promising Guard Of Honour could win the Group One Oakleigh Plate after his victory in the Bat Out of Hell on the Gold Coast.
Jockey Damian Browne on Saturday produced a vintage display to win his 1000th race when he got up on the rails to drive Guard Of Honour ($.270) to the lead and hold off Snoopy ($19) by three-quarters of a length.
A trainer in his own right, Eggleston often saddles Newcastle trainer Kris Lees’s horses in Queensland and did the honours with Guard Of Honour.
“I worked for Kris’s dad Max Lees for many years before I took up training myself,” the Gold Coast-based Eggleston said.
“I think now they have worked out how to ride Guard Of Honour, he could win a really good race like the Oakleigh Plate (at Caulfield).”
Eggleston was quick to praise Browne, who has ridden 1000 winners in Australia after also scoring on Bettabet Red at Caloundra on Friday night.
He has ridden about 1300 worldwide.
“He is a great jockey. He didn’t panic in a 900m race and he always gives his horses a top chance,” Eggleston said.
Lees might face a bigger challenge off the track than on with the Bat Out of Hell.
The race carried a prize of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle for the winning trainer.
“Kris said I could have it if Guard Of Honour won and he is a man of his word,” Eggleston said.