He may have been pressured in the last few strides but jockey Troy Baker had a strong feeling that John Blacker-trained Blaze Forth had held on to win the $100,000 Conquering Stakes.
Beating home Craig Newitt-ridden and Scott Brunton-trained Mandela Effect by the smallest of margins at Mowbray on Wednesday night, Baker was pleased to have held off his rival.
"John said he wanted the horse ridden behind the speed and, if he got the right run in behind the leaders, he was very confident he would let down, especially if there was going to be a fight," Baker said.
"I looked across and I did think I held on but I knew how hard Mandela Effect can hit the line and Craig Newitt was on board and I was just praying I held on."
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
Jumping from barrier two, Blaze Forth was able to conserve his energy, sitting behind Master Speed, Hellova Street and Twitchy Frank who led the way at the half-way point of the 1400m journey.
Twitchy Frank and Hellova Street managed to hold on for third and fourth respectively, while I'm Wesley, who was tracking to be the first horse to win the race three consecutive times, was just behind the placegetters.
Blacker said his horse deserved to win a good race after being consistent.
"He got a beautiful ride from Troy and he is a horse that deserves to win a big race and he's got it here," Blacker said.
"We never really had a rider for Blaze Forth until earlier this week. I rang up Troy out of the blue and said 'what are you riding in the weight-for-age', he said, 'I haven't got a ride' and I said, 'you better jump on Blaze Forth.'"
Hellova Street's fourth placing means the nine-year-old is still yet to have won over 1400m at Mowbray after finishing second in the Conquering in 2016 and 2017.
While you're with us, did you know that you can now sign up to receive breaking news updates direct to your inbox? Sign up here.
Subscriptions are available here.