The Tulloch Lodge stable are eyeing a Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas 2017 campaign this spring for their progressive colt Hualalai following his weekend win at Rosehill Gardens.
The two-year-old son of Street Cry posted a second career success at start number five, kicking off the Civic Stakes Day card with a win in the first for Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott.
Ridden by leading Sydney hoop Hugh Bowman, Hualalai jumped the $2.80 second favourite in the $100,000 Pro Rata ATC Membership On Sale Handicap (1400m) and proved too strong for his eight rivals.
Improving on a lead-up second at the track on a Heavy (8) course from June 17, the up-and-comer enjoyed the slightly firmer Soft (6) ground beating home Condor by one and a quarter lengths.
Race favourite Heliosphere for Gerald Ryan meanwhile rounded out the trifecta just a quarter-length further back in third after missing the kick.
Co-trainer Bott told Racing NSW post-win on Saturday that having shown ability over the 1400m, Hualalai shaped-up as a genuine hope for Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) over the mile in October.
“He is obviously a hugely talented colt and he is just starting to put it all together and we saw that today,” Bott said of the $625,000 purchase from last year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
“The blinkers were the key and he switched off nicely.
“We’ll plan a path towards the [Caulfield] Guineas whether we keep him going now or give him a quick little freshen up and map a path, we’ll talk with Gai tonight.”
The horse’s other co-trainer Waterhouse has, since 1983, saddled-up eight horses in a Caulfield Guineas field for two seconds and two thirds.
She and Bott combined have had one runner and both chase their maiden win in the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival classic in 2017.
Bowman meanwhile celebrated a triple at Rosehill on Saturday backing up from his emphatic win in the first enjoying success in the third on the Kris Lees-trained Rustic Melody before taking out the $150,000 Listed Civic Stakes (1350m) on the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Gold Symphony.
The hoop, who rode the 2015 Caulfield Guineas winner Press Statement to victory for Chris Waller, was full of praise for his opening winner on the card suggesting Hualalai would only improve as a three-year-old next time in.
“You’ve only got to look at him to see that he has certainly got charisma and he feels to me as though he has got class,” Bowman said on Saturday.
“He is still a bit of a boy. He is a boy in a man’s body really. He is a very mature horse physically but I’d like to see him switch on a bit upstairs.
“He seemed to just lug in a little bit when he got to the front but there is no doubt that he has got it.
“He is in the right hands to get the best out of him.
“He is certainly a nice horse in the making.”
The $1 million Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas is scheduled for Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday, October 13.