Punters keep backing against him, tipsters find reasons for him to lose, but Peltzer just keeps winning.
Unbeaten in three starts, Peltzer might finally be afforded the credit he’s due after another consummate win at Royal Randwick yesterday.
The Gerald Ryan-trained colt dominated from the front again to score with real authority in the Darley 2yo Handicap (1300m).
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Peltzer has increased his winning margin every start and romped home by four lengths but Ryan ruled out any likelihood of his promising colt staying in training for the Group 1 J.J. Atkins Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday week.
“No, he’s going to go out for a spell. If I have my way, he is going out,’’ said Ryan, who added he needed to consult with the youngster’s owners.
“But there are plenty of races in the spring you can pick with him. He is versatile so anything up to 1600m you could aim him towards — the Golden Rose, the Caulfield Guineas.
“Is he good enough for a Coolmore (Stud Stakes)? You don’t know because you would think the way he is bred, he’d get better next time around.
“That’s why I don’t want to bottom him out now.”
Peltzer eased in betting to $3.50 but jockey Kerrin McEvoy controlled the tempo and the son of Coolmore Stud’s So You Think zoomed away to win easily.
The big money came for the Chris Waller-trained Overlord ($2.25 favourite) who came second, edging out stablemate Achiever ($11).
Peltzer has now won on good, soft and heavy tracks, and has led or come from off speed to score. Ryan said he had “no fears” about Peltzer in the heavy going.
“He’s a well-balanced horse and he had shown at home he was able to get through it,’’ he said. “I know it’s different on race day but I thought he’d get through it. He’s relaxing in front too now and I could not see him getting beaten.
“He reminds me more of Rubick in stature but he’s like all the good ones, he’s got a great nature. He eats his feed and he’s got a great nature.”
Waller conceded Peltzer was “very good again” as he sprinted clear of his duo, Overlord and Achiever.
“Overlord ran well and it is still the plan to go to Queensland for the J.J. Atkins Stakes if he has enough prizemoney to get into the race,’’ Waller said. “I feel Overlord is still a preparation away but often young horses take a lot of benefit from a trip away.
“Achiever also ran a good race and he will go for a spell now and be aimed at races like the Gloaming Stakes and the Spring Champion Stakes.’’
Stockman destiny to make it as a stayer
In the same season Joe Pride retired his veteran staying star, Destiny’s Kiss, the trainer has found a possible replacement in emerging three-year-old Stockman, a tough winner at Royal Randwick.
What makes this story even more unusual is the two stayers are closely related – in fact Stockman is the “uncle” of rising 12-year-old Destiny’s Kiss.
Stockman is out of the Zabeel mare Crimson, who is the granddam of Destiny’s Kiss, winner of 19 races and more than $1.5 million prizemoney.
“He’s by a very old mare and her dam was 20-odd when she had her so it blows out the theory of old mares not being able to produce,’’ Pride said. “But he’s a really well-bred horse and that cross works very well.’’
Stockman continued his rapid rise through the grades with a strong staying performance to win the Sporting Chance Foundation Handicap (2000m).
In an exciting finish, Stockman ($10) maintained a powerful late surge to run down Reinvest ($4.60) to win by a head with The Guru ($31) two lengths away third.
Foxborough was sent out the $3.30 favourite but was struggling before the turn and faded badly to finish a long last.
Pride lamented that there is no Queensland Derby this year for Stockman after the Brisbane Winter Carnival was condensed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“At the start of his preparation, I was thinking he was a Queensland Derby horse,’’ Pride said.
“After a win like that, he would be going there at single-figure odds but the race isn’t on this year. But he’s had a great preparation winning three from four. When you talk about stayers it is not often they win three out of four.
“To be honest, we will get him home and assess what we do with him but if we had to tip him out now I wouldn’t be worried.
“He’s an exciting prospect. There was no fluke about his win.’’
Winning rider Sam Clipperton revealed he has been a “bit of a fan” of Stockman for some time.
“I have actually watched him throughout his whole career and he just looks like a horse who is really progressive and very untapped. He is still quite raw,” Clipperton said.
“He is a gentleman to ride. He thought his job was done at the furlong (a200m) and when he had a fit horse of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott’s to run down, it could have gone either way but to his credit he really dug deep.
“It was tough going the last 100m and I think you really needed a horse with staying ability that last bit. He has certainly got that and maybe in another year he could win some good races.”
Bivouac’s brother back to his best
Coruscate, a brother to dual Group 1 winner Bivouac, and Invictus Prince, who once ran second to all-time great Winx, provided a cold, wintry meeting with a welcome reminder of feature carnival racing at Royal Randwick.
Godolphin’s Coruscate produced a determined effort to hold off the fast-finishing Invictus Prince in the At Sea Handicap (1100m). Hall of Famer Darren Beadman, representing trainer James Cummings, said Godolphin’s Melbourne stable team, headed by Reg Fleming, did a “great job” getting Coruscate back to his best.
“His only real blemish was his first-up run here and he was in an awkward spot that day,’’ Beadman said. “Since he’s gone to Melbourne, he has got his mojo back and it was a tidy effort today as he’s not that comfortable in the ground.
“He is a full brother to Bivouac so that’s another feather in the cap for (dam) Dazzler.”
Coruscate, a five-year-old gelding by super sire Exceed And Excel out of Dazzler, and scored his sixth win from 16 starts, taking his career earnings to just over $350,000.
By comparison, Coruscate’s full brother Bivouac has also won six races, all at stakes level, including two Group 1 successes in the Golden Rose and Newmarket Handicap, for more than $2.2 million prizemoney.
Bivouac is spelling with plans to be set for the $15 million The TAB Everest at Royal Randwick during spring.
Although there are no such lofty ambitions for Coruscate he could be a stable mainstay during the winter months given the gelding’s form surge and his ability to handle rain-affected going.
Coruscate ($3.80), ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, scored by three-quarters of a length from Invictus Prince ($8.50) with favourite Southern Lad ($1.75) a close third after appearing to have his chance.
McEvoy, who completed a brace of wins after his earlier success on Peltzer, said Coruscate’s fitness gained from his recent runs in Melbourne kicked in under pressure on Saturday.
“He has come up here in good form, he enjoyed the conditions and travelled strongly the whole way,’’ McEvoy said. “I put the ‘pedal to the metal’ at the furlong (a200m) and they couldn’t catch him.
“I haven’t ridden him before but he is a nice, big, strong horse. Darren (Beadman) said to keep him occupied because he might prick his ears late which he did at the furlong post but once he heard them coming he reapplied himself.’’
Invictus Prince, the English stayer who hasn’t won a race in four years, gave trainer Matthew Smith reason to smile with the gelding’s comeback effort to finish a close second.
Smith said little has gone right for Invictus Prince since he ran second to the great Winx in the Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) two years ago.
“I’ve been working him differently,’’ Smith said. “I’ve completely changed the way we have been working him and training him as a sprinter this time.’’
Invictus Prince was having his first start in 14 months but Smith said the gelding hasn’t had any injury setbacks.
“When he was last racing, he had that preparation when he just wouldn’t jump from the barriers,’’ Smith said. “Then he has had a couple of other little issues, infections and those things that have gone wrong for him.
“But he is so lightly raced and it was encouraging to see him run so well today. We could go to another 1100m in two weeks or a 1300m in three weeks – he’s a good horse.’’