It is seldom that a Saturday Metropolitan meeting goes by with Champion trainer Tony Gollan going home without a winner and Saturday was not going to be that exception, but followers of the stable had to wait until the last race on the Eagle Farm card to get a collect.
That winner came in the form of Le Palmier ($4.40) who stuck to the task of chasing Kylease ($7.50) for the whole length of the straight before finally gaining the upper hand over the last 50m.
Le Palmier had a 4kg weight advantage with Kylease which appeared to kick into play late, but Le Palmier was full value for the win with the commitment he showed in grinding his way to a fifth career victory under a trademark, vigorous ride from Jim Byrne.
Le Palmier, who was resuming after close to a five-month break, continued his good first up record here. He has now won twice and been placed second twice from four first up starts.
Kylease, for her part, has finished in second spot in two of her last three starts. A six-time winner from twenty starts it appears it won’t be long before she adds to her tally.
Gollan trained runners also filled the third and fourth placings.
Air Spirit ($18), who was making up ground in leaps and bounds over the closing stages, filled third spot, just over a length off her winning stable companion, while Howwonderfullifeis ($16) settled for third placing without ever threatening the result.
Gollan’s fourth runner in the race, the $3.60 favourite (Ladbrokes) Pizonie, finished well back. Pizonie’s jockey Ryan Maloney did report back to stewards after the event that he was concerned with the gelding’s action in the race.
A post-race veterinary examination of Pizonie identified the gelding short striding both fore legs.