JOCKEY Robbie Dolan was counting his blessings after a lucrative pick-up ride on Defiant Spirit on the Gold Coast.
The Spirit of Boom gelding found his best form to win a QTIS 3YO (1200m) at the Magic Millions lead-up meeting on Saturday, January 6.
Defiant Spirit ($6.50) raced handy before kicking away on the inside to break through for his first win this campaign.
Dolan was a late replacement after Ryan Maloney was indisposed.
“Ryan was supposed to be on this horse. I picked him up this morning,” Dolan said.
“He’s a lovely horse. He showed a lot of promise last prep and he let rip today when I asked him,” he said.
Trainer Stuart Kendrick said the need for a replacement rider was initially a bit of a worry.
“Ryan knows him, which was a little bit of a concern because he can be a funny, little horse,” Kendrick said.
“But he’s probably getting better and better this time in,” he said.
“He was very relaxed today in the enclosure, which he hasn’t been the last couple.
“I took a lot of positives out of that and…Robbie did everything perfect.”
Kendrick said it was a satisfying win.
“I’ve always had a big opinion of him, and he was probably a bit disappointing last start in Brissie,” he said.
“But he didn’t have a lot go his way. From the good gate today, Robbie gave him an absolute peach of a ride and it was good to see him do that.
“I’m really happy for the owners and it is great to win on these sorts of days.”

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