Rupee reigns, Rothfire runs out of puff

New South Wales gelding storms into Doomben 10,000 contention

COUNT DE RUPEE. Picture: Martin King / Sportpix

Count De Rupee charged up Doomben 10,000 markets after winning a Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) in which star local Rothfire was unplaced as an odds-on favourite at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

The Robert and Luke Price-trained four-year-old registered his first win since the $1 million The Gong last November when he overcame a chequered passage in the home straight to run down Scallopini in the $250,000 event.

Completing a stellar race for the Price stable was Jamea, who brandished her Stradbroke bona fides with an eye-catching third placing with $1.90 favourite Rothfire a weakening fifth.

Rothfire drifted to $11 in TAB's Doomben 10,000 market, with Count De Rupee rightening from $11 in to $8 and Luke Price was thrilled to see him back to his best after finally getting back onto a Good track.

"We were just having a terrible program at home with the wet tracks and getting the horses worked how we needed to get them worked," Price said.

"After the run the other day, when he ran second (in the Hall Mark Stakes), he'd just done extremely well.

"We were going to go to the Doomben 10,000 but we thought 'let's get the horse's confidence up and let's get him to Queensland and win a race with him' and it's gone to plan."

Brock Ryan was forced to duck back to the inside aboard Count De Rupee late in the race but the gelding responded when into the clear to get home by a long-head as a $7.50 chance.

"I was feeling sick when I was four pairs back (on) the fence mid-race, and then it felt like I was going to spew at the furlong when I had no run," Ryan said.

"Lucky I had a pretty good horse with a good turn of foot underneath me to get the job done."

Rothfire took up his customary position at the front of the field and turned with a healthy advantage but had been reeled in by the 200m mark and weakened late to finish 2.45 lengths from Count De Rupee in what was his first start since the Premiere Stakes on October 20 last year.

"He probably just felt the pinch and he'll benefit from the run," jockey James Orman said.

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