Queensland raider Rothfire has upstaged Sydney’s best colts to win The Run To The Rose as Farnan flopped after bolting on jockey Hugh Bowman.
Bowman and co-trainer Adrian Bott were hauled into the stewards room over tactics on the Golden Slipper winner, who raced to a runaway lead and punctured in the straight.
Bowman said when Jim Byrne on Rothfire showed no interest in going to the front he took up the running on Farnan.
“I didn’t want to lead immediately. I waited five or six strides and I could see Jim wasn’t intent on leading so I thought I would cross and when I did and showed my hand, he took hold straight away,” Bowman said.
“Unfortunately my horse being first-up he reacted … and just took off basically.”
Bowman told stewards he “didn’t want to go that quick, obviously” but once the horse started to stride he had to go with him.
“I was trying to judge it the best I could. It is not like driving a car and putting the breaks on if you go too fast. It’s not that simple,” Bowman said.
“I understand you have sectional times and obviously horses can’t sustain the pace he was going and that’s why he finished the way he did.”
Bott agreed that once Farnan took hold of the bridle there was little Bowman could do.
“Once he has made a decision to make use of the horse, once he got running it is very hard to stop him,” Bott said.
Farnan finished fifth and almost four lengths from Rothfire, who was dominant to score by 1-1/2 lengths from Ole Kirk with his Hawkes Racing stablemate North Pacific another length away.
Rothfire’s trainer Rob Heathcote was not on course but stable representative Mel Sharpe, who travelled the world with star sprinter Buffering, said the three-year-old continued to deliver.
“This little horse, he just keeps defying all the odds and taking that next step,” Sharpe said.
“He is an absolute gem. He’s a real dude, not much fazes him.
“Rob had a really good, lengthy chat with Jimmy (Byrne) prior to coming to the races today and we always said if Farnan wants to cross us let him and we’ll just sit in behind him, don’t expose him and have him where he’s happy.”
Rothfire will remain in Sydney to target the Golden Rose in two weeks and next month’s The Everest, in which he holds the miRunners slot.
Alligator Blood, another of Queensland’s star horses, made his return at Doomben on Saturday and was doing his best work late for third to The Odyssey over an unsuitable sprint trip.