Grinzinger Bishop scores upset win at Flemington

The Danny O’Brien-trained Grinzinger Bishop may have scored a knockout blow to punters with his victory at Flemington, but it was not totally unexpected by the stable.

Grinzinger Bishop had finished last at his previous outing, his debut, at Geelong on June 5 and was sent out a $71 chance in the Rod Johnson Handicap (1420m) on Saturday.

The two-year-old appreciated the firmer conditions on Saturday and under Beau Mertens raced to a three-quarter length win from Magnaspin ($10) with Zoe’s Promise ($31) a half-length away third.

O’Brien said the stable went to Grinzinger Bishop’s debut at Geelong with some expectation as the two-year-old had been working and trialling well.

“He’s been a horse that’s always impressed us,” O’Brien said.

“The Geelong track was really wet, he got back on that soft track and basically barrier trialled.

“He was rolling in his box the next morning.”

O’Brien said it was decided to press on with the campaign and the only hope of getting on a firmer surface for Grinzinger Bishop was to head to town.

“We put a set of blinkers on him on Tuesday morning,” O’Brien said.

“I spoke to (owner) John (Wheeler) earlier in the week and said ‘we’re going to run him, we think he’s a lot better than what he did at Geelong’.”

It proved a wise decision with Grinzinger Bishop now qualified to contest the final of the Taj Rossi Series (1600m) at Flemington July 2.

“He’s a horse we’re hoping might be a Derby horse, and he stayed on super today,” O’Brien said.

“He took the run so well the other day, and if he does well over the next fortnight, we could run him in the final and then there’s still got ample time to get him ready for the back end of the spring.”

Grinzinger Bishop’s victory was the second leg of a double for the O’Brien stable after earlier scoring with Saracen Knight in the Murray Cox Handicap.

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