Talented filly Royal Tithe proved trainer John Zielke and jockey Luke Dittman as good judges with upset win in the Group Three Ken Russell Memorial.
The race was expected to be an easy win for the Godolphin visitor Impending who was $1.60 to claim the two-year-old race named to honour the former top Gold Coast jockey Ken Russell.
Instead Royal Tithe ($19) appreciated a break-neck early pace to charge home to beat Oink ($15) by a short neck with Impending a fast-finishing third, a length back.
Jockey James McDonald said Impending had been pushed back through the field and then had little luck getting clear in the straight.
But Zielke and Dittman felt it was hard to take anything away from Royal Tithe who is now headed to the Group Two BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes on May 28 and the Group One JJ Atkins Stakes on June 11.
The Russell Memorial has been won by some top horses including three future Group One winners – Spirit Of Boom, Hot Snitzel and Sizzling – in the past six years.
Zielke is sure Royal the can join that list as an elite-class winner.
“I have always said Royal Tithe was the best of my two-year-olds. That was her third win and she hasn’t had much luck in her defeats,” Zielke said.
“After the Atkins we will get her ready to head our team for the Melbourne spring.”