Tarzan has spoiled a fairytale comeback for Tumbler and cemented his reputation as a Sunshine Coast specialist by winning the Lightning Handicap.
Ridden by Luke Tarrant, Tarzan ($16) repelled a spirited challenge from Tumbler, the $3.20 favourite, on Saturday to win by 1-1/4 lengths, with Nieta ($3.70) a similar margin away third.
It was the five-year-old’s seventh win from 11 starts at Caloundra and his third victory from five first-up attempts.
Trainer Stuart Kendrick’s long-range plan for the Lightning to be a first-up target for Tarzan paid off handsomely.
“We planned this after his last campaign when we knew the meeting was going to be here,” Kendrick said.
“He holds the 1000-metre record here so it was fantastic to have a good crack at it.”
Kendrick admitted his confidence was dented when Tarzan drew the outside alley.
“When he drew so badly it was always going to be a worry because we know he likes to lead but in saying that it was the best we’d ever had him,” he said.
Tarrant was confident of a strong showing from Tarzan after a sparkling track work gallop during the week.
Dean Yendall was pleased with the effort of Tumbler who was having her first start since August last year.
“Considering she’d been off the scene for a long time I thought she ran super,” he said.