Talented two-year-old Hard Empire ended his season undefeated after he scored a brilliant win in the Sires Produce Stakes over 1400m at the UBET Racing Centre in Launceston yesterday.
Carrying top weight of 57kg and with Brendon McCoull aboard the Hard Spun gelding covered plenty of extra territory traveling no better than four-wide for the last 800 metres but he defied the tough task to score narrowly from the Terry Evans-trained stablemates Trusted Warrior and Trophy Legs.
Hard Empire went into the race having won at his only two starts but it was his effort to win a minor feature race in Hobart leading up to the Sirs that convinced punters to send him out the popular elect.
Gee Gee Royal Miss led early but she was joined by Ge Gees Free Hero 700m from home and McCoull was keen to find that horse’s back and set his charge alight to follow.
The leaders drifted to the centre of the track in the home straight to find the best going and it was Hard Empire that was the strongest at the business end of the race.
The Adam Trinder-trained gelding toughed it out like a true professional to hit the line clear of Trusted Warrior that was doing his best work over the final 200 metres while his stablemate Trophy Legs made up good ground along the rails to grab third.