Trainer Bevan Johnson was happy to deflect the praise heaped on him after Hanover Square won the TAB Battle Of The Bush Final (1200m) at Eagle Farm.
Ridden by Michael Cahill, Hanover Square ($17) stormed home to win by a half neck from $3.30 favourite Deadly Choices with Marksfield ($14) a long head away third.
Hailing from Miles, 300 kilometres northwest of Brisbane, Johnson paid tribute to the five-year-old gelding’s previous trainer, Leonard Mawn.
“We’ve only had him since he won his last race at Barcaldine and Lenny deserves most of the credit,” Johnson said.
“All we had to do was keep him going but he had a light weight, a good jockey and the horse has been flying lately.”
Mawn retained a half-share in the gelding and led the cheering as Hanover Square returned to the enclosure.
“I was training him but when I got another job I gave him to Bevan and there’s no better bloke you could give a horse to than him,” Mawn said.
Earlier, Larry Cassidy was forced to throw away the script when Hirtshals overcame a tardy start to win the Singapore Airlines Handicap (1000m).
Cassidy had planned to ride Hirtshals near the speed but was forced to revert to Plan B when the mare received a bump from a rival soon after the start.
“I thought ‘oh well I’ll, just go back on her and ride for luck’,” he said.
“They went hard up front which suited us and she had the last crack at them.”
After settling with only three runners behind her at the halfway stage, Hirtshals ($9.50) squeezed through a narrow gap at the 200 metre mark to overhaul $3.60 favourite Boom Chicka Boom to win by a neck with Ditmas ($6) a short head away third.