Jockey Brad Stewart has questioned his own tactics after odds-on favourite Ef Troop was beaten into second place on his return at Doomben.
Ef Troop ($1.45) sat four deep under 60kg for most of the race before going down by three-quarters of a length to Mittere ($41) in Saturday's QTIS 3YO Handicap (1110m).
Stewart said Ef Troop had run well considering his bad barrier (8) and his big weight.
"If you swap the barriers I win. The winner has come from barrier two and got the run of the race," Stewart said.
"But for all that maybe I should have been more aggressive and put the foot to the floor and tried to lead. But there was no sure thing I would have not still been caught deep and still got beaten."
Trainer Tony Gollan still has a southern trip in mind for Ef Troop and will make a decision in a few days.
"You can't win races sitting deep like that under big weights," he said.
Winning trainer Dan Bougoure was humble in victory but added Mittere was a lot better horse than his price suggested.
"The second horse was very unlucky. But barriers make a big difference and my horse is very fit and race hardened," Bougoure said.
Mittere cost $120,000 as a yearling and is a half brother to the Bougoure-trained Snitzel's Joy.
"He has some stout breeding and I think he can go on to win more from here," Bougoure said.
- Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
- Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times
- Reading Mode