Nick Hall is hoping Irish import High Church feels like a winner despite losing a race on protest.
High Church was first past the post in the Ladbrokes Infohub Handicap only to have the race taken away by stewards following a protest by Craig Williams aboard Bascule.
A head separated the pair.
“You win some, you lose some,” Hall said.
The Lloyd and Nick Williams-owned galloper was having his fourth Australian start after three runs last spring.
“He’s got a lot to learn and hopefully he takes a lot away from that today,” Hall said.
“Even though he ran second, he thinks he’s run first.”
Chairman of stewards Robert Cram said High Church carried Bascule in for 14 strides passing the 300m and again for three or four strides passing the 150m.
Assign gave the Williams and Hall combination a victory in lumping 62kg a solid win in the Schweppes Handicap over 1800m.
Another Irish import, Assign is a son of Montjeu and was having his third Australian start at his third campaign since joining the Robert Hickmott stable.
Hall said it was a strong performance first-up over 1800m from a horse that would appreciate further.
He was later handed a 10-meeting careless riding suspension aboard High Church when Dwayne Dunn aboard Jadeer was forced to check near the 200m as Bascule was being taken off its course by High Church.