Obstinado made it back to back feature race wins in Tasmania when the rising talent scored a dashing win in the listed Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Launceston on Thursday night.
Courtesy of a first class ride from rejuvenated senior rider Justin Hamer, Obstinado was able to shoot clear shortly after rounding for home and then was able to hold out the challenge from rivals headed by Victoria raider and race favourite Gold in Dubai.
There were some anxious moments for connections and punters when Gold in Dubai’s rider Brad Rawiller threw in a protest against the winner for alleged interference nearing the turn.
After a length hearing – thanks to another minor protest – stewards refused to alter the placings and Obstinado was declared the deserving winner.
The winner is trained by the father-son training team of David and Scott Brunton and was ridden by Justin Hamer – they teamed up to win the same race last year with Life to the Full.
“I under rate the horse,” Scott Brunton said after the win. “He’s done a great job – just incredible.”
“Justin Hamer, a great ride – he’s won it two years in a row for us – good luck to him. He doesn’t ride a lot for us anymore but good on him.”
“He’s done an incredible job the horse – I wasn’t really expecting it – he ran third at Coleraine three starts ago in a 0-72.”
“It’s just fantastic. I couldn’t be more happy for the owners. Brett Williams and the crew – they’re stuck by us and they’ve been fantastic.”
Williams, the executive officer of Tasbreeders, was not surprisingly all smiles in the winner’s stall after the race.
“I’m a bit lost for words to be honest with you,” he said. “He’s a bulldog.”
Winning rider Justin Hamer, who’s battled his weight during his classy riding career, was thrilled to have made it back to back wins in the feature sprint.
“I don’t know what to say,” Hamer said moments after weighing in. “I just love it.”
“He (Obstinado) is a real fighter. He toughs it right out to the line and to come back as a four-year-old and beat the older horses is a great job.”
“I thought he was a one paced horse – but he’s really starting to get a turn of foot. Under hard riding he extends well.”
The gelding has turned out a great investment for connections. He cost co-trainer David Brunton $35,000 at the 2008 Magic Millions Tasmanian Yearling Sale.
Already he’s won over $175,000 thanks to his five wins and eight placings from just 17 lifetime starts.
Obstinado made history in winning – becoming the first stakes winner for his sire, Kitwood’s Group One winning son Estambul.
His dam, the Aliocha mare Shades of Stubborn, was a quality mare – her two wins coming in stakes events – the Tasmanian Guineas and Cascade Classic.
Shades of Stubborn is a half sister to the eight time winning and Hobart Guineas placegetter My Uncle Ted (Ladoni).
Further back it is the same family as Group One winner Unequalled as well as Faustina, Booroonga and Charred.
Winner: Obstinado (Estambul-Shades of Stubborn)
Race: TTC Newmarket Handicap LR (1200m)
Sold for: $35,000
Sale: 2008 Magic Millions Tasmanian Yearling Sale
Vendor: Pastel Park
Buyer: David Brunton
Owner(s): B Williams, A Bratt, S Butler, J Brunton, M Kent & L Manning
Trainer(s): David & Scott Brunton (Seven Mile Beach)