Gai Waterhouse has no worries about stepping Kabayan up to the 2000m of the Spring Champion Stakes after the three year old scored a decisive win in the Group 2 $250,000 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill today.
Waterhouse was able to rejuvenate Kabayan after disappointing the stable when fifth to Epaulette in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill two weeks ago and will now back up the gelding next week in the Group 1 $400,000 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick next week.
“Brilliant run by the horse, brilliant ride by his postilion,” Waterhouse said.
“This horse I thought was a really good thing in the Golden Rose, but they were just a bit too brilliant for him. But today over the 1500m, the slower tempo, he just accelerated that last 100m.”
Kabayan will no doubt start the favourite in the Spring Champion Stakes and will have a good battle with stable mate Proisir who was an impressive winner in the Group 3 $175,000 Coca-Cola Spring Stakes (1600m) at Newcastle on September 19.
Stable rider Nash Rawiller was mindful of the strong wind down the back of the course and eventually got cover on Kabayan before saving ground on the corner and splitting runners at the top of the straight before getting into the clear and running away for an authoritative win.
“After the Golden Rose we were left scratching our heads a little bit,” Rawiller said.
“We’ve got full confidence in the horse’s ability. I honestly thought he was a genuine chance in the Golden Rose, but he backed up our judgement today.”
“He’ll certainly run a strong mile and a quarter on today’s run.”
Favourite Albrecht was always caught wide for Kerrin McEvoy and was the widest runner on the home turn before only plugging away in the straight to finish second and will now probably go for a spell.