Price was right
Sandwiched between a Group One double at Morphettville, trainer Mick Price celebrated a stirring win by Heart Of Dreams at Rosehill in Saturday’s Phar Lap Stakes.
Price was in Adelaide to watch Gallica win the Australasian Oaks and Bel Mer the Sangster Stakes and it was left to owner Brad Lyons and jockey Damien Oliver to get the job done in Sydney.
The Group Two Phar Lap (1500m) attracted a stellar field of three-year-olds with Caulfield Guineas winner Whobegotyou the $2.30 favourite ahead of Australian Guineas winner Heart Of Dreams ($3.60).
The race was thrown into confusion when Emperor Bonaparte appeared to break down and went back through the field with Whobegotyou copping the backwash.
Fully Fledged strode to the front in the straight and looked to have a break on the field but the swoopers came with Heart Of Dreams holding out Whobegotyou by a half-neck with Predatory Pricer another half-length away third.
"The race was in disarray after that horse broke down," Oliver said.
"Once I got going I could hear Whobegotyou coming and Heart Of Dreams really fought on well."
In fact Emperor Bonaparte did not break down and all trainer Davis Payne could say was that he may have been galloped on.
"It seems he was galloped on but there’s not a mark on him so I don’t really know," he said.
"I’ll have him checked out thoroughly."
Fully Fledged wound up fourth, 1-3/4 lengths ahead of fellow New Zealander Il Quello Veloce.
But there was a wait before fourth prize could be claimed with trainer John Sargent firing in a protest on behalf of the fifth placegetter alleging interference in the final stages.
Stewards acknowledged there had been a shift from Corey Brown on Fully Fledged but said the margin was too great to reverse the placings.
Price will now bring Gallica to Sydney for the Arrowfield Stakes (2000m) and the AJC Australian Oaks.
Fellow Melbourne trainer Peter Moody claimed the Group One Coolmore Classic at Rosehill with unbeaten filly Typhoon Tracy while the Gai Waterhouse-trained Theseo won the Ranvet Stakes.
Another Melbourne visitor to Sydney, Mark Kavanagh, was out of luck with Whobegotyou and Believe’n’succeed at Rosehill and Champagne Harmony in Adelaide but was upbeat.
"I’ve had a great day, I’ve had winners in Melbourne and Adelaide," he said.
"It’s not a bad day."
By Caryl Williamson