He did it the hard way, but Think It Over has ground out a determined victory in the Chelmsford Stakes to put himself on a Group 1 path.
The six-year-old needed every inch of the long Randwick straight to reel in Tulloch Lodge gelding Riodini, who led and booted clear before Think It Over ran him down in the final bounds to score by a nose.
Trainer Kerry Parker expected Think It Over to get the job done more easily but said the horse showed grit to land his second weight-for-age success after taking out the George Ryder Stakes in the autumn.
“It was a good, tough win. At the top of the straight I thought he was going to pick him (Riodini) up a lot better than he did, but credit to the inside horse who kept kicking,” Parker said.
“My bloke had a little bit of help from Nash (Rawiller) and has stuck his head out on the line.”
Rawiller was having just his second race ride on Think It Over since the horse failed on a heavy track in the Rosehill Cup last spring.
But he got some pre-race advice from fellow jockey Glen Boss, who was Think It Over’s regular rider in the autumn.
“Glen Boss told me a month ago this horse is really a horse of the future,” Rawiller said.
“He didn’t feel he’d really fulfilled his potential and I think he just showed his qualities then. He can go on to better things from here.”
Think It Over will have his next start in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick in two weeks and Parker says the race will be a fork in the road.
“I think that is where you can probably work out the rest of your preparation from there,” he said.
Having her first start as an older horse, Montefilia made an encouraging return to finish 2-3/4 lengths away third, while favourite Cascadian tried hard, according to jockey Hugh Bowman.
“I was pleased with his effort and disappointed with the result,” Bowman said of Cascadian’s fourth placing.
Jason Collett said She’s Ideel was looking for further than the 1600m of Saturday’s race after following a barnstorming first-up third in the Winx Stakes with a midfield effort behind Think It Over.