Soon after watching two-year-old Ronstar suffer his first defeat, trainer Gary Portelli has gained compensation from the win of Nicci’s Gold at Rosehill.
Ronstar was a well-beaten third in Saturday’s first race but Nicci’s Gold’s barnstorming run in the Ascot Restaurant Sale Handicap (1400m) 35 minutes later was rewarded when the filly got the nod in a photo finish.
Race favourite and leader Gresham ($2.25) stuck to the inside but it was the horses coming wide who gained the advantage, with Curdled ($13) hitting the front before he was nabbed by Nicci’s Gold ($12) and lost by a short half-head.
Schubert ($19) was another half-neck third, with Gresham sixth.
“It’s great to see,” Portelli said.
“She cost $25,000 and has earned more than $50,000 today plus a BOBS bonus.
“It’s great for the Gold Edge syndicate because a lot of the people in the horse are first-time owners.
“That’s what we need to get more people in the sport.
“And the jockey who won the first, Jason Collett, won so that’s something back from that race.”
Portelli admitted he was uncertain whether Nicci’s Gold had won but was more than happy and said he had not formulated any plan for the future.
“This is the race we aimed at,” he said.
“We’ll talk about it and make a decision what to do next.”
Nicci’s Gold has won four of her 13 starts and has been successful in three out of four starts second-up.