The first Group race of the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival has been won by Paul Messara’s Chateau Fort in the Group 2 Gunsynd Classic (1600m) at Eagle Farm.
Chateau Fort won what was only his fourth ever race start in brilliant form, bursting from the pack down the home straight to win the race convincingly.
Jockey Damian Browne rode Chateau Fort to his effortless victory ahead of Equissential, who finished second, and Igles Star, who passed the post in third.
Despite the effortless performance in the wet today, Messara was not confident of Chateau Fort’s chances prior to the race.
“He’ll make a nice horse later on but I just feel he won’t be at his best over 1600 metres,” Messara said.
“I don’t expect him to be too effective until he gets up to 2000 metres and then I’ll be more confident with him.
“He’s still a good each-way chance tomorrow.”
After demonstrating his incredible talent in the Gunsynd Classic today, Messara will now send Chateau Fort to a number of feature racesduring the winter carnival before heading to his main aim of the Group 1 Queensland Derby on June 11.
“He’s heading for the Derby here and will run next in the Rough Habit Plate and probably the Grand Prix,” Messara said.
“I’m only looking at the carnival here for the time being and I want to see how he goes before looking too far ahead.”
Chateau Fort will be sure to make his mark on racing this winter after being too immature to start his campaign in the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
“He just wasn’t ready to go for the Sydney carnival,” Messara said.
“He’s been a slow maturer and was no chance of winning over 1200 metres and needed education.”