Two years after winning the Golden Mile in his first Australian start, import Observational has had a barnstorming run to win the Listed race at Bendigo for a second time.
Observational had not won since his 2015 win and has changed stables and ownership from the Macedon Lodge team of prominent owner Lloyd Williams to trainer John Sadler.
Clients of Sadler bought the horse from the Williams team last spring.
Saturday’s Golden Mile (1600m) was the gelding’s fourth start for the Caulfield trainer, with no placings in his previous three.
“He had me wondering, this horse,” Sadler said.
“But we sharpened him up with a little bit of jumping and sort of brought his work back to sharp sprints rather than the longer work, and it paid dividends today.”
Sadler said jockey Craig Newitt rode the six-year-old gelding according to plan by dragging him back early and getting to the outside in the straight.
Observational who was sent out at $17 with Sportsbet was third last in the big field but finished strongly on the outside to beat Jacquinot Bay ($26) by a long neck, with War Legend ($6) a head away in third.
Favourite Burning Front led the field and was gallant in the straight, finishing fourth.
Sadler praised his jockey son Tom for his work with the gelding but he was unable to ride Observational on Saturday as he did not get his weight, paving the way for Newitt.
“His run first-up in the Cranbourne Cup was really good and full credit to Tommy and John, they assured me that he was pretty much spot on for today. He just needed the tempo,” Newitt said.
“And when that was there, I was pretty happy a long way out.”
Sadler said the owners had shown patience since buying the horse last year.
“This horse is not a Melbourne Cup horse, obviously, but he’s a handy horse and we bought him for reasonable money,” he said.
“It was a big thrill to win the race today.”