Trainer Robert Heathcote declared it would be the last time Traveston Girl would beat his horse Hopfgarten after the pair fought out a thrilling finish in the Listed Brisbane Handicap.
The favourite Traveston Girl ($2.80) and Hopfgarten ($6.50) were first and second from the start in a race which was run at a slow pace to the 600m.
Hopfgarten got to a narrow lead in the straight before Traveston Girl kicked back to win by a half head.
Winning trainer Tony Gollan said Traveston Girl would be fitter for the win and had reached her best distance at 1600m.
“We knew there wouldn’t be much pace in the race and Tegan (jockey Harrison) was able to run it to suit her,” he said.
“I knew she would fight back when headed because she has done it even in Group One races.”
Traveston Girl will tackle the Listed Bernborough Handicap (1600m) in two weeks as a final lead-up to the $1 million Magic Millions Trophy on January 9.
She will clash with Hopfgarten in both those races and Heathcote can hardly wait.
“I knew he would be a bit soft at the end of the race because he had a little break since coming back from Melbourne. We hadn’t done a lot with him,” Heathcote said.
“We will meet Traveston Girl two more times this summer and we will beat her.”
Kembla Grange trainer Bede Murray ended his Brisbane summer carnival campaign on a high note when Gold Horizon ($6) won the $100,000 Provincial Series Final.
“We have won a couple and had some minor placings in recent weeks so it has been OK,” he said.
“I might run Gold Horizon in another benchmark race in a fortnight but I was planning to head home until Magic Millions time next month,” he said.
Melbourne jockey Craig Williams got plenty of applause for his wins on Volkhere ($3.70) and Cashing Up ($14).
Tough stayer Volkhere ($3.70) appreciated the step up from 1600m to 2200m when he won his 10th race in the Volgren Optimus Handicap.