Imported stayer Greatwood started his autumn campaign with a dominant victory in a barrier trial over 1200 metres at Royal Randwick this morning.
Greatwood was making his first public appearance since he failed to fire in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 14 and he showed a surprising amount of early speed to open up a big gap over Team Snowden-trained Devere in the early stages of the barrier trial.
The Group 3 winner was never fully tested throughout the barrier trial, but he couldn’t to extend his lead and he crossed the line over 11 lengths in front of Ron Quinton-trained Nisroc and stablemate Woodbine.
Greatwood started his racing career under the care of Luca Cumani in Europe and he was purchased by Waterhouse after he finished second behind Nichols Canyon in the Listed Noel Murless Stakes (2816m) at Royal Ascot on October 4.
He made his Australian racing debut with a solid third behind Entirely Platinum in the Canterbury Hurlstone RSL Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 16 last year and he took out the Listed Premier’s Cup (1800m) at the same venue on August 30 before he was sent to the spelling paddock after he failed to fire in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) on September 13.
Greatwood returned to winning form with a narrow victory in the Listed Parramatta Cup (1900m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 21, but he was sent back to the spelling paddock following his tough run in the Australian Cup.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse is yet to confirm the exact path that Greatwood will follow during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival, but the Manduro gelding could be set for the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick on October 3 before potentially heading to Melbourne for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 17 and the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 3.
Nisroc was making his first appearance at the races since he finished sixth behind Mardi in the Schweppes Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on January 31 and he hit the line fairly to finish second, while Woodbine was never fully tested and was still able to make up a fair bit of ground late.
Woodbine was gelded at the end of his autumn campaign after he finished at the tail of the field in the Group 3 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap (1400m) on March 18.
Greatwood is currently available at 2015 Melbourne Cup odds of $67 with Ladbrokes and is at a quote of $101 to win the Caulfield Cup.