Slow Hands kicked off a very good forty minutes for trainer Kelly Schweida when he finished strongly to take out a Class 6 Handicap over 1600m in the fifth race at Eagle Farm.
One race later, Schweida made it back-to-back race wins when Miss Hipstar accounted for her opposition in the Listed Dalrello Stakes.
Slow Hands ($6) settled in the second half of the field, some seven lengths off the frontrunning Factory Warrior ($26) in the back stretch, until Stephanie Thornton got the big grey moving closer to the action approaching the home turn.
Thornton saved ground on the turn, but Slow Hands was still some five lengths adrift of Factory Warrior on straightening. The leader was now being chased hard by Cloak ($9.50) and Guntantes ($3.20).
Inside the final 200m, it very much looked like it would be a close race between those three runners but, when Thornton switched Slow Hands back towards the inside and asked her for her final effort, the grey swooped late, hitting the line so well that she already had the race won inside the final 75m.
The final winning margin of 1.30 lengths summed up Slow Hands’ authority when it mattered most.
“Look, all of his runs have been good,” said Schweida. “The only one where he blotted his copybook a bit was when he ran fifth or sixth when we rode him up a bit close.
“The idea here was to ride him back and the idea was to get to the outside. Getting to the outside was never going to happen. Steph (Thornton) tried but … anyway, going back to the fence was good. There was plenty of room. He is not the bravest beast. He got plenty of room and that suited him.”
Stephanie Thornton, who gave everybody a scare when she fell from Simply Fly last week made a winning return to action.
“I think everyone was questioning me when I wanted to ride so soon after last Saturday, but I’m glad we are here, and I think we just proved why;” said Thornton.
“I was actually very glad he was my first ride back because he is so cruisey. I knew he wouldn’t give me a hard time and he would make life easy … and it was great for him to get a win as well.
“He is a horse that likes to get to the outside. That was the original plan. I think he felt like he was on the outside anyway because there was so much room when we went down the inside.
“Personally, I don’t believe anything is wrong with the fence. We know Eagle Farm drains so well.”
Slow Hands has now won five races from thirty-five starts, with no less than fourteen minor placings, and this latest win moved his prize-money earnings to $239 897.