Wayward youngster Rocket To Glory won the QTIS 600 Parry Nissan Prelude at Townsville on Tuesday but had to survive a protest before connections collected the cash.
Rocket To Glory (2g Shovhog – English Summer by Dodge) started in the red after a last-start fifth behind Benfica in the Listed Hampden Park Stakes at Doomben.
He began brilliantly and was travelling like an odds-on favourite should in the early stages. But things went pear-shaped around the home turn when he drifted off the track and took Thirty Three Large even wider.
Rocket To Glory prevailed by a head from Thirty Three Large (Sequalo) but kept the $23,000 first prizemoney and QTIS bonuses after an inquiry. Last Gift (Escalation) flew home to finish third.
The Shovhog youngster has heaps of ability but has been a handful for trainer John Manzelmann. His previous preparation was derailed after he began bucking at Mackay in February and again when he bucked and dislodged his rider in the $150,000 QTIS 600 event at Townsville in March.
“He had one testicle that was really small and the other one was really large and they were pinching him,” Manzelmann explained. “We had him gelded which helped sort out some of his problems.”
Nevertheless, the Mackay conditioner still has some kinks to iron out before the $100,000 QTIS 600 Parry Nissan Final at Townsville on June 4.
Rocket To Glory was a $20,000 buy from the Raheen Stud draft at the 2010 Magic Millions QTIS 600 yearlings sale. He is part-owned by Manzelmann’s wife Stacey and several partners from Longreach including Radio 4TAB ‘Bush Beat’ host Rob Luck.
Manzelmann also trains his older brother Rocket On By who has won four races to date. They are by former Raheen sire Shovhog from English Summer. The unraced Dodge mare was served by Raheen sire Publishing last year.