Press Statement proved to be a class above his rivals in a Caulfield Guineas result that saw trainer Chris Waller collect his first trophy in the $1m Group 1 race for the three year olds at Caulfield today.
Waller was a bit concerned pre race after Press Statement draw barrier fourteen in the sixteen horse field of the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) but Hugh Bowman negated the horror barrier in the first one hundred metres when he let the $2.50 favourite stride to the front.
“It was just a great ride from Hugh Bowman,” Waller said.
“The plan was to go back and get some cover. We said we don’t need bad luck to win the race, he just need to stay out of trouble.”
“To see him jump that well, it takes a leading world class ride to take up that initiative after he jumped so well.”
Waller was ecstatic to win his first Caulfield Guineas and fifty-third Group 1 race and will decide in the next couple of days if Press Statement pushed onto the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in a fortnight.
“Do we need to know if the horse can win a Cox Plate, maybe we will find out next year,” Waller said.
“Go home to Flemington and eat up his food tonight and then worry about tomorrow tomorrow.”
Once Bowman crossed to the front form the wide gate, he slowed the pace on Press Statement in the middle stages before starting to rev him up through gears on the point of the turn.
Challengers came at the top of the straight but Press Statement was never headed and once Bowman headed to the middle of the track and laid a couple of quick whacks around his behind, the Hinchinbrook colt cleared out to score by one and three quarter lengths from Lizard Island ($19) and Ready For Victory ($11), both making up good ground late.
If Waller decides not to go to the Cox Plate this year, he believes he will be a strong contender in next year’s weight for age championship and Bowman agrees.
“I would say that this will be one of the top Cox Plate contenders next year. He has probably earned himself a run this year. It is going to be a hard race for a three year old in my opinion but I will leave that to connections,” Bowman said.
“This time next year he will be a serious Cox Plate horse in my opinion.”
“He is a star in the making, there is no doubt about it.”
“This a serious colt, he was the best horse in the race, although we had to ride him a little bit out of his comfort zone, his class came to tuition.”
Press Statement has firmed in to be a $9 chance for the Cox Plate with Ladbrokes.com.au with Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes winner Criterion heading the betting at $5.50.