Macedon Lodge runner Amralah has stamped himself as a stayer to watch leading into the Spring Carnival’s major races; completing an impressive performance to comfortably take out the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m).
Jumping from the gates poorly, jockey Hugh Bowman was forced to settle off the pace of early leaders Bohemian Lily, At First Sight and Ethiopia, who flew the barriers and strung the field of thirteen along the fence passing the post the first time.
Steadily moving forward over the back straight, Bowman elected to pull the son of Teofilo off the fence approaching the bottom turn and charged forward to take up the pace.
Offered a clear racing line upon arriving at the final straight, Amralah quickly spooled up before mounting his final straight assault; continuing to find and hitting the line more than three lengths in the clear of Excess Knowledge; Bohemian Lily boxing on for third.
Bowman secured a second win on 2015 Caulfield Guineas Day in partnering Amralah to success in the Herbert Power Stakes, and revealed it was far from smooth sailing for the five-year-old in transit.
“Our plan was to be in the first two or three depending on tempo of course, but the horse just knuckled when he jumped,” Bowman said.
“I just had to eliminate plans and ride my race. I didn’t want to be in the ruckus so I just let him settle out the back which was fine until the pace slackened at the 1500m.
“I just thought I’m going to make up a few lengths here and try and get the horse into a rhythm and as I increased so did some of the others, so it gave me no choice than to just pop up around.
“Rhythm is the key in these longer races and although it wasn’t a textbook move to do what I did, I sort of just rode the horse instead of the race and didn’t he do a fine job.”
Nick Williams was on hand for Amaralah’s Herbert Power Stakes success and confirmed the team will take the horse back to Macedon Lodge before deciding if he will back up in next weekend’s Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
“This horse is a very nice horse,” Williams said.
“He got here for the Mackinnon last year and unfortunately hurt himself behind in that race and he’s done it again once since.
“We got him right and took him to Adelaide and he won very impressively. Last week Damien Oliver had absolutely no luck because he slipped in the barriers again.
“Hughie had the opportunity going around the back there at the top of the hill … Hughie is at the absolute top of his game, you could see that because he knew the horse had to be in the first two or three, he got him there and he walked away with it.
“I don’t think you’d see many Herbert Powers won as impressively as that.
“We’ll get him home, but the 51.5kgs (for the Caulfield Cup) is obviously very tempting. We’ll have to have a think about it, but he’s a tough horse.”
Amralah has claimed six wins and a further four minors through an impressive sixteen start career so far.