PUNTERS gave no other horse a chance to catch Rock Bottom in the opening race of Wednesday night's meeting at Bathurst Paceway, as the Wendy Turnbull-trained gelding was sent out a $1.12 favourite.
Those punters did indeed back the right horse but he must have given them all heart attacks in the process.
Rock Bottom led the field into the turn for home after driver Emma Turnbull gave him a comfortable opening half of the race but he didn't kick away from the field like many expected.
He did have enough to see off challenges from Watchoutnexttime ($13, Nathan Turnbull) and Studleigh Sonny ($10, Jake Davis), notching up career win number six in nervous fashion.
But those sorts of finishes are par for the course when it comes to Rock Bottom, according to Emma Turnbull.
Even with the narrow 1.4 metre winning margin the driver knew her favourite had plenty more left to give.
"He had plenty left to give but he might have given everyone a bit of a heart attack," she laughed.
"He never wins by far. He only does what he has to do, and tends to be quite lazy."
The win was just one part of a successful night for the driver.
Emma Turnbull finished the meeting with two winners, two seconds, a third, and a fourth.
In the opening event the expectations was Rock Bottom would bounce back in a big way after a tough trial win over Breeders Challenge Blue champion Chasing The Wind and a subsequent second place behind Talk About Lexy.
He got strongly from gate two and quickly took up the running with Happy Napa running alongside him in the death seat in the early stages.
Studleigh Sonny took the sit behind Turnbull and Watchoutnexttime worked forward on the opening turn to settle in the death.
That's how things remained until the final bend.
The gap between Rock Bottom and Studleigh Sonny remained consistent throughout the final 200 metres, as the favourite did enough to get the win.
Watchoutnexttime flashed home to pinch the runner-up spot away from Studleigh Sonny in a photo finish.
"It all went to plan but he can leave himself vulnerable because he's lazy," Turnbull said.
"If something comes at him quick he can lose his cool at the wrong time but I was more than happy with the way he finished that race off."
It was a good night of racing for favourites with six of them getting up over the nine race meeting.
The only significant upset of the night came in the last race where $13 shot Benignant overcame short priced favourite Arty Pharty.