Holyfield defies betting drift to claim Eye Liner Stakes

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A late betting drift due to a wide barrier for Holyfield wasn’t enough to stop the Annabel Neasham-trained galloper in the time-honoured Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) at Ipswich.

The four-year-old gelding further franked the form out of the BRC Sprint (1300m) to win the $200,000 race by 1.5 lengths, dominating his rivals.

Desert Lord hit the line strongly to run second, while Sir Warwick led and tired to hold on for third.

The Neasham yard had a successful day at Ipswich, with Read My Future scoring earlier on in the day, before Holyfield made it a stable double.

2022 Eye Liner Stakes Replay

Stable representative Raphael Machelli said that it was good for the consistent galloper to salute in Listed company, with more feature races likely to be on the agenda in the near future.

Brodie Loy was in the saddle for both of Neasham’s winners, but the Eye Liner victory was extra special given he has built a strong partnership with the son of I Am Invincible throughout their respective careers.

“This horse was my first provincial winner when I moved up to Sydney and I stuck with him on his first win on a Saturday and now his first in Queensland,” Loy said.

“He’s been knocking on the door. Third-up today, fit. He obviously had to work a little but hard from the half-mile to around the 450 – I felt that we got a really decent breather and he was able to sustain that and was tough to the line.

“All credit Annabel and the team. It is just great.”

While no future plans have been confirmed yet for Holyfield, the Listed Glasshouse Handicap at the Sunshine Coast on July 2 looks a logical target race should the stable keep him in Queensland.

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