A timely phone call from jockey Brad Stewart was the catalyst for Mishani Warrior to earn a crack at winter carnival glory on Saturday.
Mishani Warrior ($3.80) had to win the Listed Tattersall’s Members’ Cup (1600m) at Eagle Farm to convince trainer Les Ross he was a genuine Group One Stradbroke Handicap hope.
Ridden a treat by Stewart, Mishani Warrior scored by three-quarters of a length to Danesiri ($51) with 1-1/2 lengths to Margins ($13) in third.
Ross revealed he wasn’t going to run Mishani Warrior until Stewart rang him on Monday.
“I had intended to start Mishani Warrior next week but Brad asked if I had looked at the nominations for the Members’ Cup,” Ross said.
“He said it looked as though it would be easier than next week so I elected to run.”
He said he had been worried about the 1600m but to win a Stradbroke a horse needed to be a strong “miler”.
“It is every Brisbane trainer’s dream to win a Stradbroke and he showed us today we can try to live our dream,” Ross said.
Mishani Warrior has now won $280,000 in prize money which would put him close to a Stradbroke start.
Meanwhile, trainer Tony Gollan believes his flying sprinter Rocket To Glory can be taught to settle and win races at 1400m.
Rocket to Glory ($3.70) gave a display a sustained speed to notch up his 10th race win in the The President’s Handicap (1000m).
Despite wanting to hang off the track, Rocket to Glory carved out the trip in 56.6 seconds with a final 600m sectional of 33.69 seconds.
Rocket To Glory ran right up to his second to Group One star Buffering in a recent Doomben jump-out.
“Last campaign I got him out to 1200 metres but I think this time he can run over distances up to 1400 metres,” Gollan said.
Apprentice Sam Payne, a member of Australia’s Payne racing family, reached another milestone when he rode his first Saturday metropolitan winner on My Quilter.
Payne had ridden three previous metropolitan winners but they had been at midweek level.