Leading jockey Brad Stewart admitted he was rarely so confident so far from home when he won on Phobetor in the $250,000 Magic Millions Rising Stars for colts and geldings at the Gold Coast.
Trainer Michael Costa had repeatedly stated during the week that Phobetor would be greatly improved on his first-up defeat at Eagle Farm two weeks ago.
Phobetor ($11) proved him right when he rolled to the lead from an outside barrier and was never in doubt over 1300m.
Stewart said he was surprised when he had hit the lead so easily.
“We rolled to the lead and I was very confident a long way from home,” Stewart said.
Costa said Phobetor had overcome some joint problems in his career but was now confirming his potential.
“He is a lovely horse but we had to geld him because he was getting too big,” Costa said.
“We picked this race out for him some time ago and I think he can go on from here.”
Phobetor cost $60,000 as a yearling but has now won $200,000 in prize money.
“It is really good that big prize money is available for this level of horse,” Costa said.