Trainer Scott Morrisey feared his run of close second placings was about to continue before his consistent gelding Aqua Vite was declared the winner of the Open (1350m) on Saturday.
Aqua Vite ($6) scored by a nose in a head-bobbing finish to Payroll ($10) with a long head to Pelethronius ($7.50) in the Open Handicap (1350m) at Doomben.
The gelding has not finished worse than fourth at his past 12 starts – a great effort seeming he nearly died last year.
“He got colitis which is usually fatal to 90 per cent of horses. But he has come back bigger and better than ever,” Morrisey said.
“I have had three nose seconds of late and I thought I was about to get a fourth but he has just got there.”
Morrisey trains the horses for the Pemberton family who have had a long history with him and his father John Morrisey.
“I think Aqua Vite could make a winter carnival horse and I would love to win another big race for the Pembertons. But we will just take him along easily at this stage.”
Morrisey said Aqua Vite could handle the wet or the dry and could also get a middle distance.
“I didn’t get to Doomben until late but I am told he is the only runner to come deep from back of the field and win today,” Morrisey added.
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Earlier, Thunder Rocker ($12) continued his good form since returning from Hong Kong when he won the Megaport Plate (1200m).
Trainer Darlene Duryea said the gelding Raider had been sold to Hong Kong but bled and returned to Australia.
“We have taken him along slowly and that was only his fifth start for us, but he has never missed a place,” she said.
Former Brisbane gelding Pah Terie had a happy homecoming when he won the Three Year Old (1200m).
Pah Terie was trained in Brisbane by Kelly Schweida where he won a Doomben two year old and was competitive in stakes company before being sold to clients of Newcastle trainer Kris Lees.
Trainer Mel Eggleston, who was in charge of Lees’ team at Doomben, said it had been decided to ride the horse closer to the pace when the track seemed to be playing for front runners.
“Kris has a bit of an opinion of him and there could be interest from overseas in him,” Eggleston said.
Meanwhile, trainer Les Ross can hardly wait to get My Little Flicka onto a dry track after she won the Sky Racing Handicap (1200m).
“I have only had her for two runs and she has won both. The funny thing is the connections told me she was for better on top of the ground but both wins have been on soft tracks,” Ross said.
“I can hardly wait to see what he can do in the dry.”