Trainer John Sadler said that he has always believed that Henwood was good enough to win a race at group level and has included the progressive gelding in the nominations for the Group 3 Sandown Stakes (1600m) that will be run at Caulfield on Saturday.
Henwood raced home strongly to finish second behind Longport in the Emirates Airline Handicap (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday and did enough to convince Sadler that he may finally be ready for his maiden opportunity at Group level.
Sadler said that Henwood is due for a stint in the spelling paddock, with one eye already on the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, but the five-year-old remains a chance to contest the Sandown Stakes this weekend.
“He seems to have come through the race really well,” Sadler told Racing Ahead.
“He will either run this Saturday and then go for a spell or go straight for a spell.
“We are thinking about taking him to Queensland for the winter.
“He hasn’t had a good break for a while but he has raced really well and we are really happy with him.”
Henwood has recorded five wins from fourteen career starts but Sadler said that we have definitely not seen the best of the Savabeel gelding on race day.
Sadler believes that the Henwood has improved his race day manners as he has matured and is hopeful that he is good enough to break through for a major race win, if he can replicate his training form during a race.
“I’ve always felt that he good get to Group class,” Sadler said.
“We have always had a bit of a problem getting him to settle but he has got better and better as he has gotten older.
“I haven’t seen him do on race day what I think he might be capable of doing but he still race well.
“If we can see him at his best, I feel confident that we can see him win a Group race.”
The Sandown Stakes has drawn a strong set of nominations and could be dominated by the Darley operation; with trainer Peter Snowden nominating Pinwheel, Galah and Limes for the Group 3 event this Saturday.
Also included in the nominations are: the enigmatic Hot Snitzel, Weekend Hussler Stakes winner British General, promising gelding Richie’s Vibe, Peter Moody-trained Plucky Belle and last start runner-up Members Joy.