Veteran jockey Jeff Lloyd has used his vast experience in rating leaders to guide Aldini to an upset win in the Makers Mark Handicap at Doomben.
The race tactics were turned on their head when the likely leader Kraftwerk was scratched, leaving five runners, all who liked to race off the pace.
Lloyd took full advantage and urged Aldini ($18) to the lead, walking through the first stages before sprinting home in 33.04 seconds which made it impossible for him to be run down.
Aldini had 3/4 length over Jopa ($5.50) with 1-1/4 lengths to Liberation ($2.70) in third.
“He had led and won a race at the Gold Coast over 1400 metres so we thought it was the way,” trainer David Kelly said.
“We will look for similar races in the coming weeks.”
The favourite Sir Moments ($2.10) was in last place most of the way before running on for fourth.
“Something like that was always going to happen once Kraftwerk came out and he worked home well under 61 kilos,” Sir Moments’ trainer Steve O’Dea said.
In-form Emphasis ($4) survived a an abbreviated protest from heavily backed runner up I’m Belucci ($2.40) before winning the Jim Beam Handicap.
Stewards took 10 seconds to dismiss the protest from apprentice Luke Dittman alleging interference in the final 250m.
Trainer Richie Stephenson said Emphasis would run in the Toowoomba Guineas on April 16 and then spell with a Melbourne campaign in the spring in mind.
“He cost us $10,000 at Darley sale and he has now won nearly $100,000 so he owes us nothing,” said Stephenson who has cut his team back to eight.
Sydney stayer Off the Rails gave Lloyd a double in the Coke Zero Handicap and could extend his northern stay until the Toowoomba Cup on April 16.