'If I had another 80 like him I'd be a happy trainer'
I'M A RIPPA brought up $1million in prizemoney with a gutsy performance under Jim Byrne in Saturday's Eye Liner Stakes at Ipswich Racecourse.
Two knowledgeable Ipswich track veterans Byrne and Jeff Lloyd went neck and neck down the straight, with the Tony Gollan-trained gelding inching ahead at the line to beat Lloyd aboard favourite Tyzone.
It was Gollan's second Eye Liner victory, after Alma's Fury in 2014.
"This is such a prestigious race to win, the Eye Liner," Gollan said.
"I grew up in Toowoomba, and to come down the road here to Ipswich and win this race for the second time now, I feel very proud and privileged.
"It's not a Melbourne Cup or a Cox Plate, but it means a lot to me to win a race like this.
"It's a pinch yourself sort of moment."
Gollan praised both horse and jockey, particularly to show fight at the death after Lloyd appeared to have the inside running on the straight.
"It was a tough win for the horse. He does it from the front every time he goes around, he's an on-speeder, and it's been very hard for on-speeders to win here today," Gollan said.
"But no one knows Ipswich better than Byrne. He rode him great, got him going early so he could get off the fence.
"When I saw Jeff go back on the inside and put a head on us, I thought, 'oh we're in a bit of trouble here'.
"(But) it was an excellent effort by the horse. He's a proper racehorse, he never lets me down every time he goes around he gives me 100%.
"If I had another 80 like him I'd be a happy trainer."
Ipswich hoop Jake Bayliss rode Privlaka from eighth with 400m to race into third, to finish his day on a high note.