Lightly-raced four-year-old Hosting will be targeted at the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 5 after impressing with a two lengths victory in the Le Pine Funerals Handicap (1200m) at Sandown yesterday.
Hosting was appearing at the races for the first time since being gelded after finishing at the tail of the field in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington in March and showed striking acceleration to race away from the rest of the field when he was asked for an extra effort in the final stage of the race.
Trainer Greg Eurell told Racing Victoria after the race that the four-year-old had taken a great deal of benefit out of being gelded and believes there is still a plenty of improvement ahead of the horse.
“He was what they classify as a rig and they can actually become quite uncomfortable when racing,” Eurell said.
“He had quite a lengthy operation to remove his testicle which I am sure he has gained a lot of relief from.
“It was a big effort; the horse went into the race without a trial so he can only be improved for today’s run.”
While Hosting flopped in his only step-up to Group 1 level during his three-year-old campaign, Eurell believes the son of Host had the potential to be highly competitive at the highest level of racing and has included him in the nominations for the Epsom Handicap and Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
“We really had to see what he did today before we could plan for some better races,” the Cranbourne-based trainer said.
“He’s got a long way to go but the Epsom looks a nice race for him under handicap conditions.”
Eurell won the Cox Plate with Pinker Pinker in 2011 but has never achieved success in the Epsom Handicap, with the great Apache Cat’s win in the 2008 T.J. Smith (1200m) his only Group 1 victory in New South Wales.