Classy three-year-old San Nicasio has completed a brave start-to-finish performance to take out the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) in impressive fashion at Caulfield this afternoon.
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Ben Melham immediately led the Hard Spun gelding to the front of the classy field, settling into a noticeably slow tempo over the back straight and approaching the bend but maintaining a comfortable lead on his rivals.
Finding a clear line upon arriving at the final straight, San Nicasio continued to build in momentum and charged clear; kicking well over the final 150m to hit the line ahead of Zebulon and Firehouse Rock.
Trainer Peter Moody was pleased with San Nicasio’s performance and the ride delivered by Melham for Autumn Stakes success, revealing the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) on March 7th will figure as his major target.
“He’s a horse with nice ability and still learning his trade,” Moody said.
“It was a lovely race and he were happy to take a sit, but it didn’t present that way and he judged it well so 10 out of 10.
“He’s always shown us good ability and there’s a lot of nice races ahead of him.
“Is he going to be mature enough as a three-year-old there’s probably a little question mark but we’ll just keep lifting the bar slowly.
“He’s probably got to show me that he’s strong enough and has the ability and the ability to run an mile and we’ll find another one in between now and then to determine that.”
Melham delivered a polished ride on San Nicasio in the 2015 Autumn Stakes and is confident he will have no issue progressing to a mile.
“I was too scared to take a sit on him today, but I just let him roll out of the barrier and he came back under me nice,” Melham said.
“Relaxed really well for me up front and good sectionals and really hit home well.
“If things go his way he’ll run a mile no worries.”
Sure to firm substantially over the coming days, San Nicasio was rated a generous $21 chance for success in the 2015 Australian Guineas with Ladbrokes Australia prior to the Autumn Stakes.