Talented sprinter Knoydart made it three wins on the trot with a dominant victory in the 2014 Hareeba Stakes (1200m) at Mornington this afternoon.
Knoydart did not jump from the gates well and was settled towards the tail of the field by jockey Nash Rawiller before edging closer coming around the final bend.
Craig Newitt looked as though he may have stolen the race when he took Don’t Get Excited to the lead with 250 metres left to run, but Knoydart showed a stunning turn-of-pace to run away from the rest of the field and record a very comfortable three lengths win.
Knoydart has now recorded three wins from as many starts since being gelding before the start of his summer preparation and Darley Melbourne stable foreman Paul Snowden said it is quite clear that ‘the ultimate gear change’ has been the making of the son of More Than Ready.
“It is good to see; when you are winning like that it really points to a really good future for him,” Snowden said after the race.
“He is winning with ease and running away from a quality field.”
“The top-weight is no slouch there and there are probably six or seven that have really good form at the moment.
“He certainly has his head in the right spot and (the gelding) has been the making of the horse.
“His first two runs back have been super and he is really starting to reach a peak, but I don’t think he is there with.”
The Darley team has always been confident that Knoydart has the ability to be competitive at Group level and Snowden admits that they may have to looking at stepping the four-year-old up in class following the dominant win.
“He is a horse that is still on the way up and still hasn’t met his right level yet,” Snowden said.
“If he can figure in those better races, the way he has been going, he is going to make his presence felt.
“I think that we will really need to reassess; we only earmarked another Listed race here in two or three weeks’ time for him, but we may need to look at something else.”
Rawiller picked up a rare ride for the Darley operation, with Kerrin McEvoy still on the sidelines with a knee injury, and he believes that Knoydart is capable of recording a win at the highest level of racing.
“I know that Kerrin has a good opinion of this horse and, without putting the moz on him, I think that he has a Group 1 race in him,” Rawiller said.
“He has really taken his career to a new level and in one of those fast run handicaps he could definitely figure.
“The company is going to improve with him, but geez he feels like a nice horse.”
Rawiller will have the chance to record a feature race double when he partners top-weight Travolta in the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) this afternoon.