A Group double earlier in the day hardly prepared co-trainer Michael Hawkes for the emotion of a third at Rosehill.
Hawkes didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when Traitor took out the Group Two Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) to complete the treble after Entirely Platinum won the Sky High Stakes (1900m) and Messene took out the Ajax Stakes (1600m).
“He was out of his depth today and to do what he’s done is out of his grade,” Hawkes said.
The Phar Lap was a leap of faith for the family training partnership with Traitor very much a family horse going into the race off a midweek win at Randwick.
It was also a test for the favourite Guelph and despite her third, the racing future of the triple Group One winner was in limbo after the race.
“The old Guelph would have won,” trainer Peter Snowden said.
“It was a pass mark but we’ll see how she is in the morning.
“We can’t find anything wrong with her but she’s not racing like she can.”
Punters forgave Guelph her past two defeats and sent her out as the $3.30 favourite with Traitor a $6.50 chance.
Both travelled better than midfield but Traitor was packing too many guns inside the final 150 metres and Guelph was edged out of second by Define ($31).
While a decision on Guelph will be made in the next couple of days, it might take a bit longer to decide the next target for Traitor.
“I thought if he could win today he was a superstar,” Hawkes said.
“He is untapped. I think he’s done what he’s had to do. He’s won a Group Two race.
“I really don’t know where we go now.”