Forgotten sprinter Inn Keeper avenged prior defeats in the Listed Wangoom Handicap to claim Warrnambool’s marquee sprint in his third attempt.
The runaway victory, which sealed a running double for lightweight jockey Dean Holland, was as a welcome boost for local trainer Symon Wilde after a win and four minor placings over two days.
“We thought he was a horse that could win a Wangoom,” Wilde said.
“He was favourite two years ago but he rode the speed too hard that day.
“He had a campaign last time without winning … should have won at Caulfield but he ran third in this race but he’s been forgotten about a little bit being a seven-year-old.
“I don’t think he raced until he was nearly four … I just thought he was the right horse in this race and I can’t believe he’s done it so late in his career.”
Ancestry looked the winner rounding the bend but an early speed duel with Jungle Edge and Epic Grey took its toll on the pacemaker in the straight.
Dexelation and Simply Optimistic benefited from the strong tempo, tracking Great Again, a market drifter, in the three-wide running line to claim the minor prizes.
Early favourite Great Again stuck on gamely to hold fourth.
Dean Holland salutes the crowd after winning the Wangoom Handicap on Inn Keeper. Picture: Vince Caligiuri/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
But Inn Keeper, a Wilde home-bred, surged when Holland unleashed the seven-year-old gelding.
“He was never going to get beaten from the 600 (metre mark),” Holland said.
“I thought I’d just ride the rail the whole way but I just had that more horse that I just had to look for a way out and he was never going to get beaten.
“I had too much horse and I was always going to be able to manoeuvre around other horses, he was going that good. I wasn’t worried, I just wanted to go at the right stage.”
Meanwhile, jockey Zac Spain was suspended for one month after failing a breath test upon arrival at the track on Wednesday.
Spain was stood down from his two rides — Polanco in the Wangoom and Exalted Crown in the penultimate race — as a result of the indiscretion.
Spain blew 0.02 with the suspension to start immediately.
The 24 year-old was booked on two runners on Thursday.
Originally published asInn Keeper lands Wangoom at third attempt
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