The Robert Heathcote-trained veteran local Excellantes successfully defended his title in the first on Stradbroke Handicap Day taking out the Hinkler Handicap 2015 after a win in the same race last Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
It’s been a quite carnival for the locals so far this year but on the biggest day of racing in the Sunshine State, Falvelon seven-year-old Excellantes was able to post back-to-back wins in the $100,000 Listed Coca Cola Amatil Hinkler Handicap (1200m).
He jumped at $13 odds through Ladbrokes.com.au today after a solid fourth behind Into The Red in the Listed Ascot Handicap (1350m) at the Doomben track a fortnight, a run that Heathcote was happy with and thought he’d be improving on.
“I liked his last run,” Heathcote said post-win on Stradbroke Day.
“There was a lot of speed in that race and today I thought from the alley Whiskey Allround would lead and we’d sit off him.”
That was exactly how it played out with the Tony Gollan-trained four-year-old Whiskey Allround best out of the barriers from the inside alley to lead from Excellantes who jockey Michael Cahill had up on the pace.
“I wanted to ride him in the first three, I found he races better up on the pace,” Cahill commented.
Cahill rode the defending champ aggressively right from the jump, put him into the race, had the horse switched him on and then the gallant old galloper did the work to hold off the challengers over the closing stages.
“He’s a tough old horse Excellantes and he’s show that again today,” Heathcote said.
Down the straight Excellantes ($13) dug deep and drew away to beat home the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Kaepernick ($4.20), Tommy Berry aboard the Fastnet Rock three-year-old from Sydney who simply ran out of time after making up all the ground after sitting last on the turn for home 400m off the line.
In third finishing off the Hinkler Handicap trifecta was then the Kelso Wood-trained Into The Red ($4.60), the four-year-old doing it tough after sitting three wide without cover throughout before but battling on strongly.
A possible next-up target for this year’s Hinkler Handicap winner is a run Saturday week on June 20 at the Gold Coast on Tattersall’s Tiara Day in the $175,000 Group 3 WJ Healy Stakes (1200m).
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2015 Hinkler Handicap Results & Finishing Order
Doomben Race 1 – 06/06/2015
|1||1||EXCELLANTES||Robert Heathcote||Michael Cahill||–||3||58kg||$12|
|2||12||KAEPERNICK||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||0.3L||8||54.5kg||$3.80F|
|3||3||INTO THE RED||Kelso Wood||Ryan Wiggins||0.5L||6||56.5kg||$4.60|
|4||2||THUMP||Kris Lees||Tye Angland||0.9L||5||57kg||$9.50|
|5||8||WHISKEY ALLROUND||Tony Gollan||Timothy Bell||1.7L||1||54.5kg||$4.20|
|6||7||CUM DIVIDEND||Liam Birchley||Glen Boss||2.2L||7||54.5kg||$12|
|7||5||PHELAN READY||Jason McLachlan||Luke Tarrant (a)||3.5L||12||55.5kg||$41|
|8||9||BYMONASHEE||Brian Smith||Larry Cassidy||3.6L||9||54.5kg||$26|
|9||10||SPATHA||Maryann Brosnan||Jeff Lloyd||3.8L||4||54.5kg||$101|
|10||11||SILENT WHISPER||Lloyd Kennewell||Zac Purton||6.1L||11||54.5kg||$12|
|11||6||TOKAMAK||Barry Lockwood||Paul Hammersley||7.1L||2||55kg||$61|
|12||4||FACILE TIGRE||Jason McLachlan||Craig Newitt||7.2L||10||55.5kg||$61|
|–||13||DISCREET||Kelly Schweida||Kerrin McEvoy||–||0||–||–|