Country racing graduate God Has Chosen rocketed to city stardom when brilliantly winning the $200,000 Belmont Sprint (1400m) with a flying finish for jockey Clint Johnston-Porter at Belmont Park on Saturday. The Lindsey Smith-trained four-year-old Playing God gelding ($8) charged home and beat $2.20 favourite Red Can Man by a long neck with Massimo ($18) a close third. Great Southern connections sent God Has Chosen to Smith’s metropolitan stable after he scored two outstanding wins at Albany. God Had Chosen, who was stepping up in class to weight-for-age company on Saturday, settled near-last in the 16-horse Belmont Sprint field and he appeared to have an impossible task on straightening. However, Johnston-Porter weaved him between rivals and he accelerated powerfully to claim Red Can Man when the favourite looked a winner. “Bloody hell, this horse is really good,” Johnston-Porter said. “I let him get too far back, but with a great turn of foot, he got me out of trouble. All fell into place as I got a clear run to come out after. “Pikey (William Pike) rode God Has Chosen early in his career and I remember him telling me ‘this is Group 1 horse’. It could turn out that he’s right on the mark. “At one stage, it took time to settle the horse in races, but he’s now relaxed. “I copped criticism for choosing to ride him when he stepped up in class to the Belmont Sprint, but I wanted to see how good he really is. I now know his big potential.” God Has Chosen’s breeder and part-owner Warren Lee said the former Great Southern galloper was on target for Ascot’s spring carnival and an interstate campaign next year. “Two wins at Albany were scored in stunning style by God Has Chosen when he was trained by my brother Neil,” Lee said. “Also in the ownership partnership is our brother Murray. “We decided to give the horse a chance in Perth. Rather than travel him back and forth from Albany, we agreed he should go to Lindsey Smith’s stable. “Lindsey has a Group 1 reputation and we hope he can later guide God Has Chosen to elite level races.” Lee said God Has Chosen would race in the next month’s Belmont features the $200,000 Hyperion Stakes (1600m) and $200,000 Strickland Stakes (2000m). After a spell, he will be aimed at the $1 million Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot in November and the $1 million Kingston Town Classic (1800m) in December. “After the Railway and Kingston Town, we hope he’ll be good enough to race in Melbourne next year,” the breeder-ownerLee said. “He’s bred to stay and we think he’ll get over staying distances.” The Belmont Sprint was God Has Chosen’s biggest test, after six wins for Smith in minor race class. “We knew the Belmont Sprint would be an enormous step up in class for God Has Chosen,” Smith’s WA stable forewoman Donna Riordan said. “But he’s had a trouble-free preparation and he was ready to give maximum effort at his fourth start this time in. This horse is pretty special.” “It was an extraordinary run by God Has Chosen and a 20 out of 10 ride by Clint. He realised that he had a lot of horse under him.” Red Can Man settled in second position for jockey Natasha Faithful and the chestnut’s supporters were confident when he drew clear at the 200m. But he ran his third straight feature event second after having no answer to God Has Chosen. Earlier at Saturday’s Belmont fixture, Geraldton trainer Julia Martin broke down in tears after Bombay Style won a 1650m handicap. “This is my first city win and a dream come true,” Martin said. “I can’t believe it.” Six-year-old Bombay Style was Martin’s only starter at the meeting.