Pants Man scores in Guineas
By GRAHAME TIMBRELL
LAST February 29-year-old Muswellbrook trainer Stephen Gleeson set his sights on the TURSA Employment and Training Grafton Guineas with Pants Man after the three year old won the Gainsborough at Tamworth.
Yesterday the plan came to fruition when Pants Man, ridden by leading Brisbane jockey Stathi Katsidis, won the race to give Gleeson his biggest thrill as a trainer.
"Winning the Gainsborough was a bigger race, but this is the biggest thrill," Gleeson said.
"To win a race at this carnival is something special because of the atmosphere.
"I have only had winner here before.
"That was a horse called Carol's Choice about seven years ago, when I was only training part time."
Gleeson rode as a jockey out of Muswellbrook but weight forced him to retire at 21.
He then moved to Port Macquarie and helped his father Jim who was training there.
Four years ago they moved back to Muswellbrook with Stephen Gleeson taking over the stable and Jim becoming foreman.
Pants Man was one of three horses that Gleeson brought across from Muswellbrook, but said the Guineas was the race he wanted to win.
Gleeson bought Pants Man for only $12,000 at the Scone yearling sales and when he syndicated the horse his father took a share.
However, Jim was at home looking after the remainder of the team.
"He would have been watching the race on television and cheering," Gleeson said.
Although Pants Man is out of a Zabeel mare the trainer believes the horse's best distance could be 1400 metres.
"I decided to set him for the Guineas because it is an easy 1600 metres here," Gleeson said.
Katsidis had Pants Man ($9) poised behind the leaders on the turn and came away to win by a length from Don't Tell Ted ($4.40) with one of the outsiders Attackengo ($61) a further half length away third.
The $3.80 favourite Foreshore (Nathan Day) finished 10th in the field of 13.
Day told stewards nothing had gone right with the Grafton trained Foreshore.
He said the horse had missed the start and never settled at any stage.