The step up to 1400m will be the crucial test for Delectation in the Group 2 $200,000 Blackwoods CRC Hobartville Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday.
The furthest Delectation has run has been 1200m and trainer Chris Waller has put a query on the three year olds ability to run out the extra distance strongly.
“1400m will probably stretch him out a little bit,” Waller said.
But Delectation has the benefit of a first up run when an unlucky second to Scissor Kick in the Group 3 $150,000 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on February 7.
The Shamardal gelding found the lead in the early stages and still had control of the race until the 200m when he ducked in sharply when jockey Hugh Bowman was preparing to go for the whip and then had trouble regaining his momentum.
“Delectation lost momentum and could not regain it when challenged shortly afterwards by the winner,” Bowman told the stewards after the race.
Waller believes Delactation would have won if he had gone straight but added that he would take great benefit from the run, his first since running second to stablemate Brazen Beau in the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on the first day of the 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
“He should have won first up,” Waller said.
“Beaten by a good horse, maybe he threw it away the last 100m. He still ran a good second and will take benefit from the run.”
Delectation and Scissor Kick are set to clash again in the Hobartville Stakes which is loaded with talent including four individual Group 1 winners, Hallowed Crown, Preferment, Hampton Court and Shooting To Win.
Waller will also saddle up Preferment and Kermadec in the Hobartville Stakes with both three year olds aiming for bigger goals further into the Autumn Carnival.
Preferment’s Autumn Carnival grand final will the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 4 while Kermadec is being aimed towards either the Group 1 $600,000 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick or the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington both on March 7.
Preferment is having his first run back since winning the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival while Kermadec impressed Waller with his first up fourth behind Scissor Kick in the Eskimo Prince Stakes.
“Very good run first up. Barrier nine on Saturday doesn’t make it easy,” Waller said.
“He’s been firmly set for a Guineas whether it be Randwick or the Australian Guineas.”
Caulfield Guineas winner Shooting To Win heads a congested market order for the Hobartville Stakes and is the $4.60 favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au.
There are seven runners at $10 or less with Scissor Kick at $5.50, Hallowed Crown and Panzer Division at $6, Sweynesse and Delectaion at $8 and Kermadec at $10.