Road To Rock, the hot favourite for the $300,000 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) was beaten when another Sydney raider, the Chris Waller-trained Metal Bender, snared a classy victory on Saturday at the Gold Coast.
After winning the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes last start, the Anthony Cummings-trained Road To Rock began the 2010 Hollindale Stakes as the clear favourite at $1.90, but finished second to Metal Bender ($5.50) one and a quarter lengths back from the winner.
In a photo result, the Gai Waterhouse-trained Gold Water ($5) put in a gallant fight for second, finishing a mere short-head back to complete the all Sydney trifecta.
After settling just off the pace Metal Bender enjoyed a beautiful run in the shadows of the early leaders before expert jockey Hugh Bowman made his move and pushed Metal Bender to the front inside the final 200m, overtaking the leader on the straight, eventual third placegetter Gold Water.
Road To Rock looked in real trouble early on and was worse than mid-field for most of the race. The Encosta De Lago gelding, ridden by Stathi Katsidis did well to work up through the field on the rails, where the ground was at its worst, and finish second.
Only 12 of the original 14 weight-for-age runners contested the Hollindale Stakes after Gallions Reach and Snapy Halo were scratched. Snapy Halo was a late scratching on the morning of the race after the John O’Shea-trained five-year-old injured his off hind leg by kicking out in the stalls.
Metal Bender, a four-year-old Danasinga gelding, has now won six of his 12 career starts and Saturday’s prizemoney elevated his total earnings over the $1million mark, to an impressive $1,039,950.
A dual Group 1 winner, Metal Bender will next contest the $500,000 Group 1 Doomben Cup (2020m) on May 22, where he will again face off against Road To Rock.
The other feature race at the Gold Coast on Saturday was the $125,000 Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m), where $51 roughie Beethog claimed a shock victory.
2010 Hollindale Stakes Results
METAL BENDER (NZ)
|Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman|
ROAD TO ROCK
|Anthony Cummings||Stathi Katsidis|
|Gai Waterhouse||Shane Scriven|
|Ben Currie||Jason Holder|
SIR SLICK (NZ)
|Graeme Nicholson||Samantha Collett|
|Grahame Begg||Blake Shinn|
|Liam Birchley||Robert Thompson|
COURT RULER (NZ)
|John Wheeler||Danny Brereton|
|Bart Cummings||Michael Cahill|
|Kath Carroll||Mark Zahra|
|Chris Jordan||Larry Cassidy|
|John Morrisey||Peter Robl|
|GALLIONS REACH (NZ)|
|SNAPY HALO (ARG)|