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Robert Heathcote was the least surprised when his veteran Hopfgarten turned back the clock at Doomben

Trainer Robert Heathcote was the least surprised when his veteran Hopfgarten turned back the clock to win the Listed Wayne Wilson Mile (1600m) for a second time.

Hopfgarten has moved to within $14,000 of earning $900,000 in prize money after beating Ulmann($4.6) by a short neck on Saturday, with 1-3/4 lengths to Divine Unicorn ($21) in third place.

Hopfgarten won the Wayne Wilson two years ago when it was held at Eagle Farm and had been out of the placings during his previous three starts since a spell.

However, Heathcote grew in confidence when the Doomben surface was rated as heavy.

“He isn’t the horse he once was. But a few things have gone wrong this campaign. He had a little muscle strain, which means he missed a run a fortnight ago,” Heathcote said.

“But he worked very well this week and I felt he was getting back near his best. I must say it gives me a great thrill to win the Wayne Wilson for a second time. Wayne was a great racing man.”

Winning jockey Jake Bayliss, who has been riding with great success in New Zealand, had his first Brisbane stakes win on Hopfgarten.

There was a sensation at the beginning of the race when the heavily backed A Shin Rook ($7 into $4.20) stood in the barriers and missed the start by 15 lengths.

Jockey Jim Byrne said the gelding had refused to jump and might be ready for a spell.

 
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