Think It Over has iced his comeback from a career-threatening tendon injury, wearing down fellow weight-for-age star Zaaki in a thrilling finish to the inaugural 7 Stakes at Randwick.
The veteran geldings continue to produce in top company, Zaaki kicking clear halfway up the straight before Think It Over set sail for him, diving on the line to nail his rival by a half-head.
For trainer Kerry Parker, the victory was vindication of the hard work and endless hours he has committed to Think It Over since the eight-year-old injured his tendon following his 2022 Queen Elizabeth Stakes victory.
“It’s just so good to have him back and to make it all worthwhile to win a really nice race, and he’s done that today,” Parker said.
“You’re never confident with a bowed tendon. (Horse rehabilitation specialist) Tim Boland did everything possible for him, whatever needed to be done was going to be done and if he didn’t make it back, well he didn’t make it back. He was going to retire on top.
“But no-one told the horse that, he was just going to be a racehorse no matter what, he just loves it.”
Think It Over will be given a month to freshen up for his next target, the $5 million King Charles III Stakes (1600m) next month, then a trip to Melbourne for the Cox Plate beckons.
“That’s why he needs that little month off now, just nice fresh legs, give him a chance to come into the King Charles and then two weeks later the Cox Plate,” Parker said.
“He is family and I’m absolutely thrilled to see him get the job done today.”
Nash Rawiller has been a big part of Think It Over’s journey and said when Zaaki gave a kick, he had to ask his horse to dig deep.
“I just relied on the horse’s ability and his will to win,” Rawiller said.
“As soon as I showed my bloke that bit of daylight, he wasn’t laying down, he just attacked the line.
“For a horse that’s come from where he has, to pull out a finish like that is just unbelievable.”
Fangirl was doing her best work late for third, another two lengths away after conceding the first two a start.
“We got out of the race compared to where the winner and second horse were, but she let go with a really good finish,” jockey Kerrin Mcevoy said of Fangirl.
“Unfortunately, the (wide) draw beat us today.”
– RAS NewsWire