Natural ability was enough to carry Newcastle gelding Hidden Warrior to victory in the Group 3 Telstra PhoneWords Stakes (1200m) in his first test in the Melbourne direction at Moonee Valley today.
Trainer Paul Perry took the three-year-old to Moonee Valley on the advice of jockey Nash Rawiller but he didn’t adapt to the tight-turning track as well as the star rider expected.
The son of Hidden Dragon had issues coming around the tight home corner and wobbled in the straight but was still good enough to lead from start to finish and hang on for a half-length victory ahead of Haussmann and Chosen Moment.
Rawiller admitted Hidden Warrior didn’t take to Moonee Valley as well as he was expecting but is still predicting a big future for the horse that has only finished outside the top two once from six starts.
“I thought he’d rail like a greyhound up here. He’s a horse with a few tricks. But he showed what he’s made of and that’s the main thing,” Rawiller said.
“He’s such a raw talent. If he can go and put it together next prep he’s the sort of horse that could really go on with it.
“He pretty much did everything wrong and ability carried him through.”
Rawiller said he is likely to be more suited down the straight at Flemington and stable foreman Shannon Perry said he will leave it to the owners and Paul Perry to decide whether he contests the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) next weekend.
“Since arriving here the horse has thrived,” Perry said.
Haussman finished off strongly to claim second place while Chosen Moment scored his fifth consecutive minor placing despite missing the start.
Favourite Cavalry Rose was coming off a Group 3 win at Caulfield two weeks ago but never looked comfortable at Moonee Valley and finished in fourth position.