Class told when Admiral prevailed in a punishing finish to the LR George Adams Plate (1600m) on Wednesday.
The Mossman gelding staked his claim for Tasmanian Horse of Year honours with a gutsy performance on a Heavy 8 and then survived a protest from $50 outsider Miss It And A Bit.
Admiral was a long odds-on favourite following an unbeaten campaign this season but he was under the pump when Miss It And A Bit kicked four lengths clear at the top of the straight in Launceston. “I was worried on the corner even though I knew he was trying his heart out,” jockey Brendan McCoull said. “He usually just travels into a race so strongly but he wasn’t responding.
“By the same token, I was never going to give up on him because I knew that he’s got such a great will to win. He tries his guts out and he did what he had to do in the heavy conditions.”
Admiral (4g Mossman – Reunification by West Quest) overhauled The Cleaner in last year’s George Adams and the second edition lifted his record to 14 wins in 19 starts and $640,000 for Denise Martin, Bruno Calabro and Ron & Trudy Schwanke. He was named Tasmania’s Champion 2YO in 2014 and Champion 3YO in 2015.
Trainer Barry Campbell said Admiral would head to a paddock for a short break while he and the owners decided a mainland campaign for the winner. The G1 Goodwood in Adelaide and G1 Stradbroke in Brisbane were mentioned after the gelding’s last-start victory in the LR Thomas Lyons Stakes (1400m) in Hobart.
The George Adams made it 6 winners since Saturday for Mossman and there’s more candidates for black-type this weekend with Dothraki (G1 Oakleigh Plate), Mossin’ Around (G2 Angus Armanasco Stakes) and Mossbeat (G3 Mannerism Stakes) engaged at Caulfield.
Team Hawkes has also accepted with Mossman newcomer Military Machine in the G2 Skyline Stakes at Randwick. His dam Military Blonde (General Nediym) won a Canterbury sprint for Graham Begg and Vinery sold him as a foal for $55,000