Griffon has produced an extraordinary finish to win the 2012 Lightning Handicap at Eagle Farm Racecourse today.
The six-year-old gelding flew down the outside of the track to steal the win away from Royal Bender, who finished second, and Audacious Spirit, who held on for third.
It was just Griffon’s fifth run for trainer Robert Heathcote after he was transferred to Queensland late last year from Bart Cummings‘ stables.
“He’s a good horse he always has been,” Heathcote said of his new stable addition.
“Bart Cummings always had a huge opinion of him.”
Griffon was forced to have five months off following a bleeding incident on Magic Millions Day at the Gold Coast on January 14 this year.
“When I first got him I don’t think I got him right which ultimately led to him bleeding at the Gold Coast, but I won a Saturday race and I set him for this race.”
The trainer was pleased with the way jockey Paul Hammersley handled the ride.
“(It was a) lovely ride from Paul. Beautiful job,” he said.
“My other fella (Excellantes) ran a really brave race because of bad barriers and I said to Paul just have him where he’s happy and he’s ridden a treat of a ride.”
Heathcote is now looking towards a 2012 Stradbroke Handicap win with Buffering later today.
“It would be nice to have a Group 1 on my own turf,” the trainer said.
Hammersley felt Griffon showed his true ability in today’s Lightning Handicap.
“(He) got rolling from the 600 and he was just too good in the end,” he said.
“Till the straight I thought I’d be a chance but out in the open he just made it home too good for them.”
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2012 Lightning Handicap Race Results
|1||10||GRIFFON||Robert Heathcote||Paul Hammersley||–||12||54kg||$26|
|2||15||ROYAL BENDER||Darren Weir||Glen Boss||1.5L||5||54kg||$15|
|3||8||AUDACIOUS SPIRIT||Gillian Heinrich||Glyn Schofield||1.6L||10||54kg||$8|
|4||2||ADEBISI||Desleigh Forster||Chris Munce||2.4L||6||58kg||$7.50|
|5||5||EXCELLANTES||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||2.5L||11||56.5kg||$5.50|
|6||3||TIERQUALO||Kelly Doughty||Daniel Griffin||2.6L||2||57.5kg||$14|
|7||1||FACILE TIGRE||Jason McLachlan||Brad Rawiller||3.3L||1||59kg||$5.50|
|8||6||SEEK AND FIND||Kelso Wood||Jason Taylor||3.8L||4||56.5kg||$4.20F|
|9||14||NOROCOS||Norm Hilton||Grant Cooksley||5.5L||3||54kg||$21|
|10||7||PAPRIKA||Liam Birchley||Luke Nolen||6.8L||7||54kg||$8|
|11||13||NUPTSE||Brian Wakefield||Jeff Lloyd||7.8L||8||54kg||$10|
|12||4||GHETTO BLASTER||Gillian Heinrich||Michael Walker||9L||13||57kg||$61|
|13||9||FALCO STAR||Liam Birchley||Ric McMahon||9.5L||9||54kg||$61|
|14||12||CARRY TO FORTUNE||Sandra O’Sullivan||Peter Mertens||10.5L||14||54kg||$18|