The last race of the day at Eagle Farm Racecourse has been won by River Lad, who posted victory in the Group 3 2012 WJ Healy Stakes.
It was an unexpected win from the four-year-old gelding, who was paying odds of $17 at bookmaker.com.au.
River Lad was first-up in the 2012 WJ Healy Stakes after a nine week break following a short autumn campaign.
The Top Echelon gelding won his last start in the $50,000 Coca-Cola Amatil Handicap at Eagle Farm on April 9, 2012.
Jockey Tim Bell was pleased to round off a successful Brisbane Racing Carnival by winning the last Group race of the winter.
“I was actually surprised by the way he jumped,” Bell said of River Lad’s run.
“He jumped really well. He sort of bounced on the bunny.”
Bell has had a variety of firsts this winter, claiming his first Group 2 win aboard Celtic Dancer.
“I’d probably have to put (the best moment) down to Celtic Dancer winning two of the main races on him.
“That was my first Group 2.
“But who can forget Fantastic Blue also, my first Group race.”
Today’s 2012 WJ Healy Stakes was also the first Group 3 win for River Lad’s trainer Natalie McCall, who couldn’t wipe the smile off her face after the race.
“A surprise win’s always the greatest,” McCall said.
“I was happy just picking off a few races in town so a Group 3 is just out of this world for me.
“He was super fresh today so it’s helped.”
McCall was thrilled to have jockey Tim Bell at the reigns.
“He was probably a length or two further back than I expected but he seemed happy to sit there so I thought he must think he’s got plenty underneath him,” she said.
Excellantes stormed home to place second in the 2012 WJ Healy Stakes, while Griffon held on for third.
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2012 WJ Healy Stakes Race Results & Finishing Order
|1||11||RIVER LAD||Natalie Mccall||Timothy Bell (a)||–||4||54kg||$17|
|2||4||EXCELLANTES||Robert Heathcote||Hugh Bowman||0.4L||8||56kg||$6|
|3||8||GRIFFON||Robert Heathcote||Jim Byrne||2.7L||10||55kg||$4.60|
|4||7||DURHAM TOWN (NZ)||Donna Logan||Jeff Lloyd||2.9L||11||55kg||$16|
|5||5||TROMSO||Chris Waller||Dwayne Dunn||3.7L||12||56kg||$8.50|
|6||10||AUDACIOUS SPIRIT||Gillian Heinrich||Glen Colless||5.5L||1||54kg||$4F|
|7||9||HAVATRYST||Barry Baldwin||Larry Cassidy||6.5L||9||54kg||$18|
|8||3||TIERQUALO||Kelly Doughty||Daniel Griffin||6.8L||5||57kg||$9|
|9||1||BOLD GLANCE||Norm Hilton||Damien Robinson||7L||3||59kg||$26|
|10||6||SEEK AND FIND||Kelso Wood||Jason Taylor||7.8L||2||55.5kg||$14|
|11||12||FALCO STAR||Liam Birchley||Chris Munce||10.8L||6||54kg||$71|
|12||2||ADEBISI||Desleigh Forster||Damien Oliver||13.5L||7||57.5kg||$13|