By Isaac Murphy
Most Important confirmed his status as Queensland's summer star with a narrow victory in the Listed RadioTAB Keith Noud Handicap at Doomben on Saturday.
First-up after a Winter campaign which featured runs in the Doomben 10,000 and The Stradbroke Handicap, the six-year-old gelding showed his fighting qualities when he lugged 60kg under Jim Byrne to edge Victorem and stablemate I'm A Rippa.
Most Important won the inaugural $500,000 Queensland Summer Crowns bonus for sprinters in 2016 with wins in the George Moore, Lough Neagh and The Buffering.
He made it back-to-back wins in the Lough Neagh in 2017 before rounding out the summer with a win in the Sunshine Coast Cup.
Trainer Tony Gollan was understandably rapt with the gutsy win.
“He loves this time of year, every summer if you can get him on a dry track he’s a chance and thankfully the rain held off for us,” Gollan said.
“That was a huge effort today to carry that weight and just keep coming is a testament to him.”
Gollan said the horse was holding some extra size after his spell and would only strip fitter next time out.
“You saw him in the yard, he’s carrying a fair bit of fat on him,” he said.
“His last prep he was a lot slighter so maybe it’s a positive he’s put on some size.”
Gollan praised the ride of Jim Byrne, who produced a tactical masterpiece to give his mount the last shot.
“He got away well and just wasn’t quite able to cross,” Gollan said.
“I thought Jimmy did a really good job of just holding his nerve long enough keeping him tucked away before producing him for his final effort.”
Gollan spoke highly about the efforts of stablemate I’m A Rippa, who led the field all the way before being pipped in the last strides.
“There’s really nothing between them as you saw today,” he said.
“Brad (Stewart) did the right thing in crossing and leading them, our other boy was just a little better on the day.”