Promising Snitzel juvenile Verne displayed talent and tenacity in equal measure to take his record to two wins in three starts following victory at Royal Randwick on Saturday (June 12).
Phoenix Thoroughbreds’ co-owned colt was involved in a thrilling battle with In The Congo, who had beaten him on debut, with the pair separated by a flared nostril in a photo finish.
In truth, the race was only ever between the reposing rivals, with In The Congo jumping well from the gates and Verne tracking his opponent throughout under jockey Brodie Loy. With both still travelling well entering the home straight, the eventual winner moved alongside, and the pair set out for a memorable finish while pulling clear of the rest. The lead changed hands several times in the space of a few furlongs most significantly, right on the line. The commentator called the race in favour of In The Congo, but the official photo finish disagreed, showing Annabel Neasham’s charge had got up in the dying strides. Perhaps this the beginning of a rivalry that will keep everyone entertained over the next few years?
“It was an enthralling battle, and luckily he got his head down at the right time.” Neasham’s assistant Todd Pollard told Sky Racing. “Well done to Brodie, who’s put in the hard work to get his opportunities and he’s nailed in perfectly.
“Verne’s not the finished product yet; he’s quite a raw colt. It will be quite exciting to see what he can do now and give him a break to bring him back, and hopefully, he can be as good as we want him to be. There should be some nice races for him to win in the spring.”