Leading trainer Robert Heathcote was in a forgiving mood after Hopfgarten won the Wayne Wilson Mile at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Heathcote reckoned jockey Damian Browne owed him a good ride after being trapped wide at Doomben at his previous start to finish an unlucky fourth in the Lord Mayor’s Cup.
“He produced a gem today,” Heathcote said.
“He seized the initiative early and showed what a great rider he is.”
Hopfgarten ($9.50) scored comfortably by two-and-a-half lengths from Pajaro ($6.50) with Amovatio ($9.50) a long head away third.
Heathcote is likely to extend Hopfgarten’s campaign after Saturday’s victory.
“There’s a couple of options for him coming up. I could run him in an 1800m Listed race here in three weeks time,” he said.
“Alternatively, on the same day, there’s the Spear Chief over 1500 metres which was reprogrammed from last week’s washout meeting.”
Heathcote said the track surface at Eagle Farm on Saturday was ideal for Hopfgarten.
“Not too firm and not too soft is what he needs and the going today enabled him to really stretch out with some confidence,” he said.
Blake Shinn was happy with the effort of Pajaro but said he was clearly outpointed by Hopfgarten.
Stewards quizzed jockey Vin Colgan after the abject failure of Volkstok’n’barrell, which drifted from $4.80 to $9 before finishing last, beaten by 10 lengths.
Colgan said he was disappointed with the gelding’s effort, telling stewards the four-year-old was unable to accelerate under his topweight of 61kg when he asked him to improve.