Darryl Hansen has declared Vo Heart the best horse he has trained after the gelding claimed the $175,000 Group 2 Bollinger Champagne Classic (1200m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Vo Heart had commenced his second campaign well with a win and minor placing prior to Saturday’s win at Eagle Farm.
A sudden downpour meant the event was conducted in torrential rain and jockey Eddie Wilkinson went about overcoming the conditions by positioning Vo Heart three wide near the speed.
As those behind Vo Heart and Wilkinson dealt with excessive amounts of kickback, the Darryl Hansen-trained gelding was in clear space upon straightening.
Vo Heart gradually wore down the early leader She’s A Danica (Stewart), striking the front approaching the 200m before fending off a late challenge from Vilanova (Bowman) to score.
The official margin was a half neck to Vilanova with a further length and a half to Global Dream (Colless) in third. The overall time was 1.12.15 with the last 600m run in 36.3.
The win provided Darryl Hansen with his first Group success, something the Sunshine Coast trainer was always quietly confident the Show A Heart gelding could deliver.
“He is the best horse I’ve laid a hand on and everything’s coming to fruition,” Hansen said.
“Since I’ve had him as a yearling he has shown me so much and yet he has just done a lot of things wrong. He is just starting to put it together.”
It is nearly two years since Darryl Hansen was disqualified for an elevated bi-carb reading returned by one of his horses at Mackay in July 2011.
From saddling up on average 250 starters per season between 2006/07 and 2010/11, Hansen has noticeably fewer in work since his return.
His team being in the spotlight for all the right reason’s courtesy of Vo Heart came as welcome relief for Hansen.
“It is God’s blessing,” Hansen said.
“I needed something to happen and this is the one.”
Vo Heart is out of the Red Ransom (USA) mare Smile Of Desire and is owned by Ms S A Hunt.