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The local Robert Heathcote-trained Hopfgarten relished the return to Eagle Farm Racecourse on Stradbroke Handicap Day and flew home to comfortably take out The Wayne Wilson Mile 2016.
It had been a long two years since the honest Mossman gelding got to race at his preferred track with the upgrade to the Eagle Farm course proper, but it was back to business for Hopfgarten in Saturday’s $100,000 Listed The Wayne Wilson Mile (1600m).
Enjoying his second Black-Type victory in four starts adding to one won at the Sunshine Coast back in late April, the five-year-old had nearly three lengths to spare on his closest rival Pajaro by the end of the set weights plus penalties clash.
Jockey Damian Browne continued his association with Heathcote’s multiple Group 3 winner who has now won 11 of his 39 career starts.
Hopfgarten was drawn off the course in The Wayne Wilson Mile out in barrier 18 of 18, and Browne pressed forward early from the gate after a fast start to put himself into the race.
The in-form Chris Waller-trained BRC Sprint runner-up last time out Religify, racing very keenly, led early from Hopfgarten before Hi Son charged forward around the outside of the pack to hit the front.
The eventual winner tracked beautifully once settled racing second throughout, striding up on the outside of Hi Son by the bend hitting the front on the straight.
Browne had complete control of proceedings from there, Hopfgarten ($10) storming home for the tidy victory ahead of the fast-finishing Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Scone Cup winner Pajaro ($8).
Align five-year-old Pajaro was well-supported on track following his last start second in Doomben’s Group 3 Lord Mayors Cup (1615m) and was brave again working home well for second.
In a photo for third the final placing went to Waller’s other runner Amovatio ($10), Hugh Bowman aboard the son of Al Maher who ran second to Pajaro in the Scone Cup on the back of a Hawkesbury Gold Cup run before the eighth in the Lord Mayors Cup.
Browne was thrilled to be back riding at Eagle Farm and was happy to get the luck of the run on an old favourite from the Heathcote stable.
“It’s great to be back here at Eagle Farm,” he said post-win.
“He got better luck today.
“When he’s right he’s hard to beat this horse.
“Full credit to Rob and the team.
“I decided to go forward and put myself in the race and everything worked out as planned.”
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2016 The Wayne Wilson Mile Results & Finishing Order
Eagle Farm Race 2 – 11/06/2016
|1||4||HOPFGARTEN||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||–||16||58.5kg||$9.50|
|2||11||PAJARO (NZ)||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||2.5L||6||57kg||$6.50|
|3||2||AMOVATIO||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||2.7L||12||58.5kg||$9.50|
|4||9||MALICE||John O’Shea||James McDonald||2.8L||13||57kg||$12|
|5||5||WORTHY CAUSE||John Zielke||Luke Dittman (a)||3L||4||58.5kg||$9|
|6||16||RELIGIFY||Chris Waller||Joao Moreira||3.1L||11||56.5kg||$5F|
|7||6||HI WORLD||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Kerrin McEvoy||3.9L||15||58.5kg||$9|
|8||17||HI SON||David Kelly||Jeff Lloyd||4.9L||8||56.5kg||$101|
|9||13||ADORABEEL (NZ)||Helen Page||Tommy Berry||5.3L||10||56.5kg||$81|
|10||18||LORDAG||Robert Heathcote||Tye Angland||5.4L||9||56.5kg||$16|
|11||3||DANCES ON STARS (NZ)||Gerald Ryan||Tim Clark||5.6L||5||58.5kg||$31|
|12||12||AKAVOROUN||Ciaron Maher||Dwayne Dunn||5.7L||3||57kg||$31|
|13||8||BRAVE ALI (NZ)||Tony Gollan||Ms Tegan Harrison||6L||7||57kg||$71|
|14||7||JUMBO PRINCE||Michael Nolan||Jim Byrne||6.4L||14||57kg||$19|
|15||14||FELTRE||Brian Smith||Paul Hammersley||7.4L||17||56.5kg||$41|
|16||10||BEWHATYOUWANNABE||Robert Heathcote||Michael Cahill||7.7L||2||57kg||$41|
|17||1||VOLKSTOK’N’BARRELL (NZ)||Donna Logan & Chris Gibbs||Vinnie Colgan||10L||1||61kg||$9|
|–||19e||KAZOOM (NZ)||Kurt Goldman||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||15||SHOTOVER RIVER (NZ)||John & Chris Meagher||Glen Colless||–||0||–||–|
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