The outsider Military Gambler ($26) upstaged the main fancies in the opening race at Doomben, a Two-Year-Old Handicap over 1100m.
The Chris Munce trained son of Rommel produced a sustained run and hit the line hard, an effort which carried him past the favourite Stellar Magic ($1.80) and Startantes (the $4 second favourite) over the last 50m leaving the two favourites having to settle for second and third place respectively.
It required a vigorous ride from Justin Huxtable for Military Gambler to get the job done as the winner was still three lengths adrift of Stella Magic early in the straight and still a length off the Stella Magic and Startantes battle with 100m left to run.
The win was a spot welcome good news for Munce who earlier this week was handed a three month suspension and a $5000 fine after being found guilty of treating a horse in a manner which contravened the Rules Of Racing. Munce is appealing that penalty.
This was Military Gambler’s second career start after finishing unplaced 6.20 lengths behind Gemelon Bolt, who is a useful type, over 1000m at the Sunshine Coast at a starting price of $151.
“I gave the horse a chance today,” said Munce.
“I ran him in The Jewel Prelude up at Caloundra and I said to the owners if he can run in the top five there he has probably earned his stripes to take his place in The Jewel, but, through nobody’s fault, he didn’t have much luck in the run … he was wide … but he still came on and hit the line really, really well.
‘We just had to tread water for a while untill we found the right race. It has been a little while between runs, but he galloped here on Tuesday morning and, after riding him, I thought he wasn’t far off the mark.
“He’s got a great nature … a good temperament. He is still learning … in fact he still has a helluva lot to learn yet, but he has got good natural ability.
“He is a QTIS horse so we’ll just keep going through these QTIS races.
“I can’t tell you much about his sire Rommel. I really only bought him on type from the sale. I just loved him straight away.
“He was a big, raw-boned, athletic looking colt and he has shown us a helluva lot of ability. He can only get better.”