Nobelium has scored an emotional win for trainer Rod Lewis in the Amelia Park Handicap (1000m) at Ascot this afternoon.
The gelding, having his first start in almost a year, capitalised on a strong early speed to swamp his rivals late in the race.
The six-year-old suffered a life threatening injury since his most recent start on November 22 last year.
Lewis was faced with the difficult decision on whether to operate on the injury and go into significant debt or face the prospect of losing his beloved galloper.
He elected to save the horse, which he also owns.
The Cardup-based trainer said it was special to get Nobelium back to the track and win first-up, given the nature of his injury.
“We love the horses,” he told The Races WA.
“It was a no-brainer, but it put us in a fair bit of debt.
“He flipped his large colon and he was throwing himself on the ground.
“One of Rod Davies’ vets came out and we whizzed him straight to the hospital.
“It was either operate or put him out of his pain.
“It’s not about owing the money, it’s about doing the right thing.”
The son of Alfred Nobel took his record to three wins from 15 starts in taking out this afternoon’s event.
Lewis described Nobelium as “part of the family” and wasn’t expecting him to return in winning fashion, despite showing promising signs at the trials.
“His trial was very good last week,” he said.
“His trackwork leading up to the first trial was okay and then from the first trial to the second trial he’d gone forward.
“But 12 months apart between racing, it was a big jump for him.”
Meanwhile, owner-breeder Bob Peters said Superstorm would head towards the Group 2 WA Guineas on November 23, following his win in the Mrs Mac’s Handicap (1400m).