Favourite backers were left lamenting after the opening race at Warwick Farm on Saturday but the Patinack Farm team was looking to the future with optimism after the narrow win of Longport.
The Bart Cummings-trained Norzita was heavily-backed in the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1400m), opening at $2.70 before starting at $1.90, but after getting back in the field everything went wrong for the Glyn Schofield-ridden filly who finished fifth.
“Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong,” James Cummings, stable foreman for his grandfather, said.
Schofield, who got bundled up behind runners early in the straight on Norzita, echoed those thoughts and believes the filly would have won with a clear run.
“I should have come around them. I probably rode her with too much confidence and thought she would win,” Schofield said.
Patinack Farm’s head trainer John Thompson, meanwhile, was full of praise for improving filly Longport who backed up her last-start Kembla win with a short-half head victory.
“It was a big step up from Wednesday grade to Saturday grade but she has done it well and she fought on quite well,” Thompson said.
“We’ll keep poking along and it would be nice to get a bit of black type with her. She’s in at the right time.”
Longport ($10), by Patinack’s stallion Casino Prince, defeated the Gai Waterhouse-trained Sherocksmyworld ($7.50) with a half-head to Chez Harmony ($21) in third.
Winning jockey Christian Reith believes Longport, who was having just her third start, is up to stakes class.
“She’s a lovely filly. This is a big learning curve for her this preparation, but she just keeps stepping up to the mark.
“I definitely think she’s up to stakes class. I don’t know about this preparation because she’s still quite green and raw but she’s going the right way.
“If she picks one up this preparation it wouldn’t surprise me.”