Warrnambool trainer Symon Wilde took out his second Sandown Guineas when maiden Allibor held off Sydney filly Sweet Reply to win narrowly.
Wilde decided to tackle the Sandown Guineas with Allibor only after he finished fourth at Flemington last Saturday over 1400 metres.
Wilde won the race in 2011 with So Swift, who had only won a Hamilton maiden in the lead up, and Allibor was a maiden having his fourth start.
Last week at Flemington, Allibor couldn’t keep up with the field and settled a clear last before he ran home to finish fourth behind Shelby Cobra.
Stable representative Liam Hoy said after that race they decided to put blinkers on Allibor in the hope they might pique his interest in the early stages, and it worked.
“He’s such a laid-back customer. He doesn’t exert himself at all,” Hoy said.
“Just the blinkers, we thought, might have made him a bit more tractable over the mile and it certainly put him a pair closer and it made the difference.”
Hoy said it was a bit of an afterthought to contest the Sandown Guineas and added they had some luck when the odds-on favourite Aysar was a late scratching after he flipped over in the saddling enclosure soon after arriving at the track.
Winning jockey Dean Yendall said Wilde was tossing up between sending Allibor to the spelling paddock or running at Sandown.
He felt the horse was suited by the step up in distance from 1400 metres to 1600 metres.
Yendall said Allibor stargazed in the closing stages and it almost cost him the race.
“Thankfully the second horse came to me a bit earlier (today) and he was able to go with him when he headed me and staved him off late. It was a really solid win and a great team effort,” Yendall said.
Allibor ($4.40) held off the Richard and Michael Freedman-trained filly Sweet Reply ($2.70 fav), ridden by Damien Oliver, to win by a half-head with Valanetti ($10) third.
The well-supported Horrifying had a torrid run and ran into several dead-ends in the straight before finishing fifth.