After defying the odds in 2011, Michael O’Leary-trained gelding Glaneuse again produced an upset victory to take out the Listed $150,000 2012 VRC Winter Championship Final (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Rated an outside chance at $31.00, the six-year-old proved courageous in the final 100 metres to hold on by a nose ahead of the more highly-rated Galileo Gold and There’s Only One.
The son of Blevic became the first ever horse to win the event twice as he stormed home down the outside to record his first victory since he took top honours last year.
O’Leary was confident he would produce a good showing after following a similar preparation to his 2011 winter campaign apart from a minor gear change.
“When he went out last year our full intention was to go for this race again today,” O’Leary said.
“He’s been going super. Last year I gave him a month between runs going into this race and I wasn’t frightened to do the same thing this year.
“The only thing different was I put a set of winkers on him. I thought it just might sharpen him up that little bit.”
Jockey Linda Meech rode Glaneuse to victory in 2011 and she was again on board as the Mount Gambier-based gelding notched up an 11th career win.
Meech has a long association with the horse and was full of praise for him after the race.
“He’s a beautiful horse to ride,” Meech said.
“When we straightened I was confident but then I started to get a little worried in the last one hundred metres when they were coming at him.
“But he kept sticking his head out.”
From 34 starts, Glaneuse has won 11 times and placed on another seven occasions on his way to collecting more than $400,000 in prize money.
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VRC Winter Championship Final 2012 – Results
|1||4||GLANEUSE||Michael O’Leary||Ms Linda Meech||–||6||59kg||$31|
|2||14||GALILEO GOLD (NZ)||Doug Harrison||Dean Yendall||0.1L||2||55kg||$11|
|3||6||THERE’S ONLY ONE||Peter G Moody||Daniel Stackhouse||0.3L||13||58.5kg||$6.50|
|4||13||FUTURE SOLUTION||Kane Harris||Craig Newitt||0.5L||14||55kg||$8.50|
|5||5||YULALONA||Peter Snowden||James Winks||5.5L||10||59kg||$31|
|6||9||SOPHROSYNE||Michael Moroney||Glen Boss||6.5L||9||55kg||$16|
|7||1||CHOSEN TO FLY||Colin & Cindy Alderson||Danny Nikolic||8.25L||12||60kg||$17|
|8||2||LORD PYRUS (NZ)||Judy Mawer||Ms Sally Wynne||9.25L||5||60kg||$26|
|9||16||MENADOS (NZ)||Nigel Blackiston||Steven King||10L||4||55kg||$3.40F|
|10||8||GAIL||Robbie Griffiths||Michael Rodd||13.25L||3||55kg||$12|
|11||11||SUSSURO||Tony Noonan||Jake Noonan (a)||13.35L||7||55kg||$12|
|12||3||DOUBTFUL JACK||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||15.1L||15||59kg||$21|
|13||10||STONEBLACK||Robert Smerdon||Chris Symons||15.3L||8||55kg||$12|
|14||12||POPULATION||Geoff Daffy||Garry Murphy||20.05L||11||55kg||$31|
|15||15||CANNONBALL (USA)||Pat Carey||Darren Gauci||36.05L||1||55kg||$81|