Lightly raced two year old Affirmation has earned himself a Spring Carnival campaign after producing a powerhouse finish to take out The Grand Hotel Frankston Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
After travelling in the second half if the field, Affirmation found another gear for Mark Zahra in the straight to rein in the leaders at the 250m mark and runaway for an impressive win, spacing the rest of the field by three lengths.
The Peter Moody trained Club Star ran home okay for Linda Meech while Our Kaboom and the favourite Berlutti battled out for third and fourth spot after sharing the lead.
Affirmation was only having his third race start and collected his second win after scoring at his first run back from a gelding operation over 1100m at Morphettville on July 5.
His only other start was a debut fifth to subsequent Group 1 Inglis Sires’ winner Peggy Jean in the $250,000 Inglis Classic (1200m) at Randwick on January 18.
The Not A Single Doubt youngster will now head to Sydney for the new season three year old races with stable representative John Cornell not ruling out a start in the Group 1 $1m Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on September 13.
The Tony McEvoy trained Affirmation will be floated to Sydney this week to prepare for the Group 3 $125,000 Up and Coming Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on August 23.
Zahra agrees with Cornell and definitely thinks that Affirmation is up to Group company in the up-coming Spring Carnival after his electrifying win at Caulfield.
“He’s really smart. Definitely a Group horse,” Zahra told AAP.
“I was off the bit early then they slowed up and gave me a chance to travel.
“I went from flat out catching them to having them covered a long way out.”
Another bold performance by Affirmation in the Up And Coming Stakes would see him line up in the $1m Golden Rose Stakes for the three year olds.
In early Golden Rose Stakes betting Affirmation is rated a $21 chance with the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Earthquake the ruling favourite at $5.50 just ahead of the Golden Slipper winner Mossfun at $6.50 and the Gai Waterhouse trained Almalad at $8.