Early win eases Lane's pain
Damian Lane has turned around his sour run through the Melbourne Cup Carnival with a last-stride win aboard Our Playboy in the opening event on the final day at Flemington.
Lane agreed he had endured a tough few days as he was originally set to ride Lexus Melbourne Cup winner Verry Elleegant before switching late to The Chosen One, who finished fifth, and he then had four minor placings but no winners on Oaks Day.
"It's been a tough week," he said. "Character building as they say. I had to wake up Tuesday and put a new head on, chin up and move forward, and same happened on Thursday.
"A tough few days but with a really positive mindset it is good to start off with a winner.
"He always travelled really well but the difficult part was going to be navigating a path. I had to concede a bit of ground to do so.
"This horse sprinted really well at the 450-500-metre mark."
Punters took an early hit in the opening event on final day with Our Playboy scoring narrowly in the Incognitus Trophy (1600m) in a race most expected would be a stroll for odds-on favourite Hosier.
Hosier ($1.65) was eased out of the contest in the home straight by Jye McNeil, who later told trainer Rob Hickmott that he did so as he felt the horse was 'rough' in his action. Racing Victoria vets later reported that Hosier pulled up with no abnormalities.
Winning co-trainer Mick Price said the horse's main spring aim was The Golden Eagle (1500m) last weekend in Sydney, but when he failed to make the final line-up as first emergency, the stable sent him south with country cups in mind.
Price said Our Playboy could back-up in next Saturday's $500,000 Cranbourne Cup (1600m). The trainer has a good recent record in the Cranbourne Cup, scoring in 2018 with Octabello and in 2013 with Pakal.
"We tossed the coin whether to run here, or next Saturday in the Cranbourne Cup - $500,000 over a mile - so might even back him up," said Price, who trains in partnership with Michael Kent Jnr.
"Might not do anything with him, not look at him all week. Feed him, play with him and maybe back him up."
Carrying topweight of 59kg, Our Playboy came with a late run to nab Silent Sovereign on the line and win by a short head, with three-quarters of a length to Seiners Express in third place.