It was a Queensland domination in the Group 1 $700,000 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday with trainer Tony Gollan running one-two in the feature race with Vega One coming from nowhere to defeat stablemate Jonker.
Gollan now calls Brisbane home, the former Toowoomba-based trainer enjoying his fifth career Group 1 success in the Kingsford-Smith Cup 2021 with his comeback king Vega One.
“To run one-two in a Group 1 here at home, and this is home now, is just fantastic,” Gollan told Sky Thoroughbred Central post-win.
The five-year-old Lope De Vega gelding was fourth in last year’s Stradbroke Handicap, but suffered a major injury and was sent to Victoria to recover.
This campaign the galloper has been going from strength to strength including his lead-up fourth in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) behind Eduardo on May 15.
In the Kingsford-Smith Cup, Vega One was caught behind a wall of runners on the home straight, but a masterful ride by ace female jockey Jamie Kah saw him sneak out into a late gap and burst through for the upset win.
Kah made history with the victory and now holds the record for most Australian Group 1 wins by a female hoop with six, surpassing the previous record of five held by Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne.
The Kingsford-Smith Cup field was lead around by Gollan’s Spirit Of Boom entire Jonker in his first run since placing third to Eduardo in Sydney’s Group 1 The Galaxy at Rosehill back in March.
Jonker was so brave up front looking to go all-the-way, but was just run down on the line by his stablemate to further frank the form around the Joe Pride-trained Eduardo.
“That’s so good,” Gollan said.
“I’m so proud of these horses.
“He (Vega One) had a major injury last year after the Stradbroke. They rehabbed him really well down in Victoria.
“I didn’t know where to look. I thought Jonker was going to hang on.”
Signore Fox at blowout odds for Peter & Paul Snowden ran a nice race late up the inside to snare third just ahead of Godolphin‘s 2019 Stradbroke hero Trekking who was fourth the outside.
Another shot at the Group 1 $1.5 million Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) on July 12 could be next-up for Vega One who has firmed in from $12 to $8 in the all-in markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
After the big effort for second fresh, Jonker has also firmed notably in pre-field Stradbroke Handicap betting in from $51 to $21.