By Kobie O'Brien
Former Godolphin runner Peacock justified his $80,000 price tag when he took out the XXXX Gold Rockhampton Newmarket on a rain-soaked Callaghan Park.
A recent addition to the Diane Murphy stable, the former James Cummings-trained gelding held off a brave Executed, and fast-finishing Too Good To Refuse to take the first leg of the UBET Northern Crowns for sprinters.
It was the gelding’s second run for the Beaudesert-based Murphy, after he finished sixth in last week’s Listed Glasshouse Handicap behind Jamaican rain.
The win repaid new owner Jack Pakis almost immediately, and kept in-form jockey Justin Stanley’s hot streak alive, following his recent Battle of the Bush success in Brisbane.
The trainer praised Stanley’s ride.
“Justin rides this track unbelievably,” she said.
“We knew where we were at, we didn’t have to tell him too much he had done his homework and he knew where we were going.”
The UBET Northern Crowns offers a bonus of up to $150,000 to any horse that can win three of the five North Queensland feature sprints during the carnival.
However, Murphy said the horse would now travel back to the South East.
“We’ve got to get him home, he travelled brilliantly. He’s on a six-day back up now so we’ll just see how he gets home and settles down in the next few days.
“We’ll have a look around, and there will be something for him soon.”
It was a day out for the southerners in Rockhampton, with trainer Lindsay Hatch recording a double and Tony Gollan and Ben Currie both finding themselves in the winners circle.
Natalie McCall’s Beat The Beast was the eye catcher of the day, running away by 10.25 lengths in the second event from barrier 13.