It was an all-veteran affair in the Listed $128,000 All Victorian Sprint Series Final down the iconic ‘Straight Six’ at Flemington on Saturday with Lord Von Costa defeating fellow seven-year-old Great Again, while eight-year-old Malibu Style ran third.

Craig Williams won the All Victorian Sprint Series Final for the third time in five years guiding Lord Von Costa to victory in 2020. Photo: Steve Hart.

The fifth event on Finals Day at HQ, the All Victorian Sprint Series Final saw the Donna Scott-trained Von Costa De Hero gelding Lord Von Costa continue his good record down the straight.

Four years ago to the day, he won the Listed AR Creswick Stakes (1200m) at the track and distance when the event was run on Finals Day and the horse was trained briefly by Stephen Brown.

His only other subsequent victory also took place over the six furlongs at Flemington back in January.

The team dared to dream of another Black-Type win with the rising eight-year-old who had, since his Creswick win, suffered not one but two tendon injuries that nearly put an end to his career.

“Just beside myself, that’s the best day,” Rhys Holleran, co-owner of Hazel Park Kialla Racing, told the media post-win.

“Racing’s dreaming and today one of our dreams come true.

“What a great effort. What a great thrill today.

“A lot of people have done a lot of work on this horse.

“He’s come back this time just better than ever I’m just so grateful for it.”

Proving the old adage that dreams do come true, the horse burst through late on the inside with jockey Craig Williams guiding him to a quarter-length win over Lindsey Smith’s recent Straight Six champ Great Again who was brave in defeat.

Only a half-length separated the first three over the line with the Neville Parnham-trained warhorse Malibu Style atoning for his last start flop running out of his skin for another placing at Flemington with his fast-finishing effort.

Williams celebrated his third win in the All Victorian Sprint Series Final in five years, the master hoop having previously ridden to victory Camdus (2018) and Ruettiger (2016).

Lord Von Costa now looks in the mix for a shot at the $1.3 million The Kosciuszko held at Royal Randwick on The Everest Day in the spring for NSW country-trained horses.

All-in The Kosciuszko 2020 odds at Ladbrokes.com.au list Lord Von Costa as a $15 chance, in from $31, for the October 17 event.

About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the horseracing.com.au team for the better part of a decade. She has taken great delight in covering champion mares Black Caviar and Winx throughout their careers and always has a soft spot for a winning filly.