Kembla Grange trainer Robert Price masterminded an almost three-length turnaround and defied a huge betting drift, as Noble Joey kicked late to claim Saturday’s ATC Sprint (1000m).
Two weeks after returning from a 22-week spell, when he finished second to the Danny Williams-trained She Knows on a Heavy 9, Noble Joey turned the tables, despite jumping at $26 after opening at $10.
Jockey Kathy O’Hara shifted wide to find the better ground in the last race of the day and looked to be swamped late by She Knows in the shadows of the grandstand.
But the five-year-old gelding showed he is ready to make the most of the potential which took him to a Provincial Championships final last year with a fighting win to claim the $53,375 prize for first on Saturday.
"He went really well," O’Hara said. "He has got his confidence back and hit the line well."
Godolphin’s Bandipur was a length third.
Price last week told the Mercury they “never really got to the bottom of what was wrong” in his previous preparation, where six runs for one placing, trailing off last in a 1200m race in January, which prompted a lengthy spell. Noble Joey now has almost $400,000 in career prizemoney with seven wins from 26 starts.
He has got his confidence back and hit the line wellKathy O'Hara