Lindsay Park co-trainer David Hayes tipped the Maribyrnong Plate result in the correct order but the race did not pan out the way he expected.
Hard Landing held off stablemate, filly Baaqyah, to win the Group Three race for two-year-olds on the Flemington straight 1000m course on Thursday.
Hayes thought his colt Hard Landing was slightly the better of the two youngsters ahead on their debuts.
But expected to see Hard Landing stalking the speed instead of leading.
The pair staged a two-horse war in the final 100m with Hard Landing ($8.50) prevailing by a half-head from Baaqyah ($21) with Tagaloa ($6) two lengths away third.
Hayes said both Hard Landing and Baaqyah had the pedigrees to be contenders in the bigger two-year-old races in the autumn.
He said both would be now have a break to concentrate on the Blue Diamond Prelude and Preview races at Caulfield in January.
“Both had been working and trialling well,” Hayes said.
Hard Landing is a son of Snitzerland who won the 2014 Group One Lightning Stakes over Thursday’s course and distance and was purchased for $280,000 at the Gold Coast.
“He’s got a great physique but a plain head, so he was a bit cheaper because of his head,” Hayes said.
“He’s growing into his head and I honestly think he’ll be a Blue Diamond or Golden Slipper contender.
“I got a bit of a surprise that he led for so long. I thought that made him a bit vulnerable today because in his work, he works better sitting behind.
“The filly had a good crack at him but he was too strong.”
The Lindsay Park-trained Nadeem won the Maribyrnong Plate in 2005 before taking out the Blue Diamond Stakes.