Trainer Michael Lane was in awe of his comeback sprinter Resortman after he claimed a third Belmont Park feature on Saturday in his return from injury.
Struck down by a hairline fracture in a hind-leg earlier this year, the Helmet gelding returned better than ever to deliver Lane and his patient connections a Listed treble.
He added Saturday’s Farnley Stakes (1400m) to his recent wins in the HG Bolton Sprint (1200m) and Idyllic Prince Stakes (1300m) to cap his campaign in style.
It didn’t all go to plan after jockey Chris Parnham was stuck in traffic near the tail of the field before the turn.
But it proved a fleeting concern as Parnham drove Resortman ($3.20) through a gap through the middle of the field, hitting the front just before the 100m and holding off Western Temple ($19) to win by a neck.
Western Temple warmed up for the Hannans Handicap (1400m) at Kalgoorlie with an impressive run, while Eeyore Wayz ($12) was close behind in third.
Phanta, the heavily-backed $2.50 favourite, settled outside of the lead but faded to run sixth.
Lane said Resortman’s comeback from his latest injury was a dream come true.
“If he came back this prep and you said he would have won one of them, I would have been so excited,” Lane said.
“To win three is an outstanding effort by everyone involved.
“I could never have said he would have done this.”
Lane put his faith in Parnham after a few nervous moments when Resortman was in an awkward spot.
“There were a few little swear words in my head, but I trust Chris,” Lane said.
“He rides the majority of my horses and it works good for me.”
Parnham felt he had the race under control despite briefly searching for clear running.
“Once I got to the 300 I felt I had the race won from there and he toughed it out,” Parnham said.
“He was a really promising horse early on. Sometimes in his races things didn’t go right, he was a bit unlucky in a few of them, but this prep he seems to have put it all together.”
Resortman has won nine of his 23 starts and $485,625 in prizemoney.
Meanwhile, boom three-year-old Protege was a shock beaten $1.65 favourite when seventh in the Amelia Park Handicap (1200m).
The Choisir gelding, who was the subject of big Hong Kong offers after his outstanding debut win, started slowly and was ridden hard to lead before fading in the straight.
A post-race vet examination revealed nothing amiss and stewards will follow up on Protege’s recovery with trainer Mitchell Pateman in the coming days.
Native Chimes won the $70,000 Carnarvon Cup (2000m) for jockey Kyra Yuill and trainer Aaron Pateman.