Atomic Force has suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the Group 1 Telegraph Handicap at Trentham Racecourse in New Zealand last Saturday.
The six-year-old gelding was run down by Guiseppina in the final stages of the race and beaten by a long neck.
Atomic Force was top weight in the 2012 Telegraph Handicap and was carrying a mighty six kilograms more than the winner.
Trainer Darren Smith was disappointed with the result, but proud of his horse’s gallant performance.
‘‘He did not let us down. Atomic Forced turned in a massive effort under the circumstances,’’ Smith said.
‘‘I’m sad but I’m happy.
‘‘How could you not be proud of a horse that gave everything he had?
“Unfortunately the mare that beat him got everything in her favour.’’
The 2012 Telegraph Handicap was full on drama, with jockey Vin Colgan being thrown off his mount Durham Town when trying to take the inside run away from Atomic Force.
Smith believes the incident, with left Colgan with a broken thumb, cost Atomic Force and jockey Nash Rawiller the race.
‘‘Nash said the he saw Sam Spratt’s mount (Eight Shillings) shifting inwards and he did not want to get spat out the back,” Smith said.
‘‘So he pressed the trigger earlier than he wanted.
‘‘If he had been able to nurse our bloke for another 50 metres he would have been able to hold off the other one at the finish.’’
Atomic Force was favourite to win the race at Luxbet after his impressive victory in the Group 1 Railway Handicap on January 1, 2012.
The Danehill Dancer gelding has excelled since arriving in New Zealand, which was a back-up plan after his Hong Kong campaign fell through.
The horse had been targeted towards a run in the Group 1 Hong Kong International Sprint, however, did not receive an invitation to compete.
Guiseppina is now looking towards a start in the 2012 Stradbroke Handicap during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
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