Rapaki Rocks powered to a sensational victory in the $152,500 Group 1 Harrison-Dawson at Sandown Park tonight, coming from near last to claim the $100,000 first prize.
The fastest heat winner started the punter’s elect however favourite backers would have had their hearts in their mouths as the son of Kinloch Brae and Red Rocks missed the start from box 2.
Improving to fifth with a lap to run, Rapaki Rocks ($3.60) again showed the excellent track sense that won him his heat, railing strongly through the field before switching to the outside of early leader Kinson Bale down the back straight.
Kinson Bale, who was placed in the Melbourne Cup six months earlier, refused to give in however Rapaki Rocks had all of the momentum as they swung for home and powered to a 2½ length victory in 29.34sec. Here Comes Pie ran an eye-catching third, a further length away.
“You never like to seeing them miss the start but it probably worked in his favour actually because they jammed up on the corner,” said winning trainer Mario Briganti.
“He uses his track sense, he’s a very smart dog in a field. He’s come a long way in a short time.”