Apprentice Robbie Dolan did his homework and nutted out a plan aboard Splintex, implementing it to perfection to get the sprinter back in the winner’s circle at Randwick.
And such is his opinion of the colt, he hopes the horse can take him all the way to a Group One win during the Sydney autumn carnival.
“He’s an ideal horse for a race like The Galaxy,” Dolan said.
“He will get in with 52kg, I can ride him at that weight.”
After winning two of his first three starts last preparation, Splintex had to settle for minor placings at his two runs from a spell, including a last-start third in the Gosford Guineas.
While Splintex had led throughout in his two wins, Dolan did not want to be locked into a speed battle in Saturday’s Bushfire Appeal Race Day 25th January Handicap (1000m) and hatched a plan to trail the leaders.
“When I had a look at the speed map, I knew Witherspoon was very keen and would be up there,” Dolan said.
“I watched Omar’s trial and he also goes very keen.
“So, I said to the owners, if we can take a sit and land in the one-one he will be hard to beat.”
Dolan’s plan proved a winning one, despite Christian Reith on Aquitaine looking like he had him covered when that horse sprinted quickly at the top of the straight.
But as Aquitaine ($4.20) laid in under pressure, Splintex ($2.15 fav) lifted and was forging clear again on the line to score by a half neck with Omar ($6.50) another 1-1/4 lengths away.
Trainer Mark Newnham was at the Gold Coast to watch his Magic Millions runners but stable representative James Ponsonby confirmed the Galaxy was on their radar.
“Mark is a huge fan of the horse as a colt,” Ponsonby said.
“He says he has a great attitude for racing and one of the things he would really like to do is see him win a nice type of race later this season.”