Atomic Missile overcomes big odds to win maiden race on the Gold Coast
BOOKMAKERS gave Atomic Missile no hope before his maiden victory on the Gold Coast on Saturday and that is exactly how Trevor Thomas liked it.
The Sunshine Coast-based trainer was always confident Atomic Missile ($51 to $31) could win and the gelding duly delivered in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Maiden Plate (900m).
“We thought he would win,” Thomas said.
“Probably the unknown factor was a couple of first starters and they ended up coming second and third, but I thought we had the others covered. Everything worked out well for him. In his last couple of runs he has come off bad barriers and has been chased forward and found wanting a little bit on the line.
“But given the opportunity with a bit more pace in the race he could just sit in behind the speed and finish the race off.”
Thomas was laughing at the odds given to Atomic Missile and said he pocketed extra winnings after backing him for an undisclosed amount.
“I couldn’t believe the price,” Thomas said. “It got out to 50-1 I think and a couple got even better than that. I chucked a couple on him and watched him go around.”
Thomas’s wife, Kerri, owns 60 per cent of Atomic Missile, a Red Element gelding they bought as a weanling for $6000 at the end of 2015.
It has been a slow start to Atomic Missile’s career.
Despite showing promise, he finished sixth over 1200m and 10th over 1400m in his first two races at Eagle Farm. He was beaten by 22 lengths at his second start in October.
Atomic Missile then finished 11th over 1000m at the Sunshine Coast last month before his breakthrough win on the Gold Coast.
“He was just a bit immature,” Thomas said. “He’s only slightly built.
“He always showed plenty of ability that’s why I took him to town on his first start.
“It was a terrific run but he gave me the impression he wants a mile but his second start he come from an outside alley on a hot race on a Saturday. The idea was to ride him back with cover but he began too well and (went) forward and he just got gassed that day.”
Thomas said Atomic Missile was likely step back up to 1200m at his next start and would eventually head back to city racing.
“I’m sure he will get there. Whether it will be this preparation I’m not a 100 per cent but he will definitely get there. The horse has more than above average ability.”
Atomic Missile was ridden to victory on Saturday by jockey Nathan Thomas, who is no relation to Trevor.
Story courtesy Tom Boswell Gold Coast Bulletin