At The Heads comes out on top

Danny O'Brien believes three-year-old At The Heads, winner of the Rancher Handicap at Sandown, has a big future but he won't rush him into a race like the Group 1 Australian Guineas.


The Hussonet colt was having his fourth race start on Saturday in what is still his first preparation during which he has won twice and been placed twice.


Ridden by Nick Hall, At The Heads ($3 fav) enjoyed a nice trail in fourth spot in the 1400m event before racing to the lead in the straight and holding out Sophrosyne ($18) by a long neck with Hasta Pronto ($4.80) a length away third.


Steven Arnold, rider of Sophrosyne, lodged an unsuccessful protest against the winner alleging interference at the start.


"We're getting into dangerous ground if we start upholding protests involving interference at the start of a race. It happens in every race," O'Brien told stewards.


"Both horses had good runs in the race and had their chance."


O'Brien bought At The Heads for $130,000 as a yearling in New Zealand and races him with businessman Bruce Mathieson.


The Flemington trainer nominated the colt for the Australian Guineas (1600m) on his home track on March 6.


"He's a lovely colt with good ability but I think it might be too soon for him. He'll be a nice horse next season."


O'Brien made it a double when Secret Savings four-year-old No Jurisdiction ($3.70), ridden by Dan Nikolic, took out the Starcraft At Arrowfield Stud Hcp (1600m).


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Photo by Bruno Cannatelli, to view Bruno's website click here