The five-year-old gelding Hopeful was very easy in betting for the Lord Mayors Cup, drifting from $4.80 out to $6.50 with online bookmakers prior to the running of the $150,000 feature, but the horse didn't know his price, knuckling down to the task late.
After jumping well from barrier six, King was forced to sit wide in the early parts of the race, before eventually sitting outside the in-form Bethencourt.
Mid-race moves by Marroni, Mirann and The Frontman saw Hopeful shuffled back in the ruck, but a patient ride by King was enough to see the son of Motivator get a second wind and make a late surge at The Frontman who's long sustained run was almost enough to win.
2022 Lord Mayors Cup Replay
The French import had only had one Australian start previously, running second in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup over 1600m, so he clearly relished the rise to 2000m.
“He's not an easy horse, so credit to the team – they've done a good job with him and Rachel knows him very well,” Neasham's stable representative Alex Turpin told Sky Racing.
“Annabel was confident coming here off that run at Hawkesbury. It was very promising. She knew this type of trip was only going to do him good.
“It wasn't an easy watch. We saw Rachel get slightly boxed in, but he did really well and fought to the line.
“They (imports) just keep improving, so I think we've got an exciting future ahead with him.”
With a nomination for the $1.2 million Q22 (2200m) at Eagle Farm held by Hopeful, punters took hold of the early markets, with the gelding's quote slashed for next month's feature.