Stronger has upset odds-on favourite Accession in a tight finish to the Ken Russell Classic.
Co-trainer Paul Snowden kept a lid on winter carnival expectations for Stronger after he upstaged Accession to win the Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast.
Ridden by Blake Shinn, Stronger ($3.80) overhauled Accession, the $1.75 favourite, to win by a short half-head with Take Tea ($11) 3-1/2 lengths away third.
Rather than committing Stronger to a start in the Group Two BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm on May 25, Snowden wants to assess Saturday’s win before announcing any future goals.
“I’m not too hellbent on thinking he can handle a strong seven (furlongs) at this stage so we’ll take him home and assess,” Snowden said.
“It’s still a few weeks away and we’ll see where we’re at with him.”
Snowden said Stronger’s laid-back attitude has been a key to his success in coping with an interstate trip.
“He’s a little gem and that’s how he’s been from day one,” he said.
“He just wants to please you. He’s no fuss and what you see is what you get.”
The colt, who cost $1,050,000 million at last year’s Inglis yearling sales, took an important step to securing his long-term future as a stallion prospect with his Group Three win.
Shinn eased Stronger back to second last, tracking Accession (James McDonald) into the straight.
Accession looked the winner when he cruised to the front but tactics hatched by Snowden and Shinn paid dividends when it came to the crunch in the final stages.
“We always wanted to follow Accession and have the last crack at him and it panned out perfectly for us,” Snowden said.