Flemington winner Golden Archer is back on track to step up in grade after missing a chance to accompany super star stable mate Black Caviar to Royal Ascot last month.
Peter Moody’s racing manager Jeff O’Connor said that Golden Archer had shown the stable enough in his early preparations to warrant some thought of sending him to England for the Group 1 £350,000 The King’s Stand Stakes (5 furlongs) at Royal Ascot on June 19 but unfortunately the three year old sustained an injury and had to be turned out.
While Black Caviar went to Royal Ascot to record her twenty-second straight victory in the Group 1 £500,000 The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (6 furlongs) on June 23 to remain undefeated, Golden Archer was confined to the spelling paddock recovering from a hoof injury.
“We had to stop him, but until then we’d been seriously thinking about running him in the King’s Stand Stakes at the Royal meeting,” O’Connor said.
“He just got his foot caught in a hole in a fence in a paddock in his build-up to the autumn.”
“He was going to contest all the sprints. It took ages just to get him right, it was right on a moving part of his foot so he just needed time to heal.”
Golden Archer showed no signs of an injury when he stormed down the middle of the track for Luke Nolen to take out the Monjon Australia Handicap (1000m) on Saturday.
The Rock Of Gibraltar colt will now be given his chance in the major Spring sprints after recording his seventh win from eleven starts.
“We’ll have to see how he pulls up from this, but he won well enough to make you think he’s come back,” O’Connor said.
“Now that he has got back to form, we could probably sit back and pick our mark and look after him. He’s been a terrific horse for us from day one.”
“He’ll have to get his chance in the better races now.”
Golden Archer was the first leg of a winning double for Nolen who has skipped two wins clear of Craig Newitt in the Melbourne jockey’s premiership with a week and a half to go.
Three year old Dayita scored as favourite in the last, chalking up the second Flemington winner for the day for the Moody stable and Nolen.
Nolen has now firmed in premiership betting to retain his title moving up to seventy wins while Newitt was unable to ride a winner at the meeting and stayed on sixty-eight after the pair started off the day on equal terms.
But the battle will resume at the Melbourne Racing Club’s meeting at Mornington on Wednesday where Nolen has seven rides, three for the Moody stable while Newitt has five mounts.
Moody is well out in front in the Melbourne trainer’s premiership on eighty-seven wins and has his third title sewn up with Mick Price in second spot on fifty.