Nathan Tinkler’s Patinack Farm has claimed the last two-year-old event of the Australian season, giving trainer John Thompson the honour of winning the most juvenile races across the nation in 2011-2012.
In a homebred result for Tinkler’s racing and breeding operation, Longport, a daughter of Casino Prince, held off the Gai Waterhouse-trained favourite Celtic Sea to win at the Australian Turf Club’s Kembla Grange meeting on Tuesday.
Thompson has been locked in an end-of-season tussle with Darley trainer Peter Snowden and Waterhouse to see who could win the most two-year-old races.
Along with Snowden, Thompson went into Tuesday – the last day of the season – with 30 winners. Waterhouse was a further win behind.
Snowden had to settle for a minor placegetter in a Geelong race, leaving the Traffic Logistics Handicap at Kembla Grange to decide the outcome.
Longport, an $18 chance, was taken to the front by jockey Christian Reith with Celtic Sea ($2.40) racing on her outside.
Celtic Sea momentarily hit the lead but Longport kicked back and drew clear to score a half-length win.
“It was a really good win, a tough effort,” Patinack assistant trainer Andrew Rabbett said.
“She had to do a bit of work but once she settled, she was able to go on with it.”
Longport’s win gave Patinack bookend wins for the Australian season because Crown Of Coureuse won the first race at Toowoomba in Queensland last September.
“It has been a perfect end after a perfect start to a great season for everyone at Patinack,” racing manager Robyn Hartney said.