Brendon McCoull charges home on Grand Tycoon to win yesterday's $100,000 Gold Sovereign Stakes ahead of Geegees Velvet, ridden by Peter Mertens, and Gee Gees Style, ridden by Glen Boss. Pictures: WILL SWAN
TRAINER Barry Campbell never ceases to be amazed by his pint-sized two-year-old Grand Tycoon and it was no exception after yesterday's $100,000 Gold Sovereign Stakes at Mowbray.
After looking under siege at the top of the straight, Grand Tycoon fought off all challengers to record his sixth win in six starts, scoring by a half neck from Geegees Velvet and Gee Gees Style.
``How tough is he?'' Campbell asked.
``He was out on his feet but he kept going.
``He certainly doesn't lack courage.''
At the start of the season, Campbell was so concerned about Grand Tycoon's size - or lack of it - that he recommended to Ulverstone owners Charlie and Wendy Langmaid that they put him into work early and get him ready for the pre-Christmas races when the opposition would not be so strong.
``He won then and he's still winning now - he's been unbelievable,'' Campbell said.
``Whether his size will restrict him later on, I don't know.
``But (weight-for-age star) Royal Rambo was only small and I won a Bow Mistress with Silver Laser who was also a pony.''
Campbell, who finished the meeting with a treble, said that he was rapt to win another big race with premier jockey Brendon McCoull.
``He's been loyal to me for a lot of years,'' the trainer said.
Grand Tycoon now boasts a similar record to the best two-year-old Campbell has ever trained, Alfa, who was unbeaten in Tasmania and went on to win the group 1 Caulfield Guineas.
Alfa gave Campbell his first Gold Sovereign win in 1996 and the trainer won the race again the following year with Vetyvere who also went on to compete at group 1 level.
A lot of punters shied away from Grand Tycoon at his first start on a wet track and he drifted from $2.30 to $3.40.
The David Hayes-trained visitor Gracious Prospect was backed from $3.60 into $2.50 favourite but was caught wide from an outside barrier before battling into fourth place.