Finding exceptional form over the late stages of his 2014 spring preparation, co-trainer Tom Dabernig has revealed the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1300m) at Sandown Racecourse on January 26th will figure as the first point of call for Petrology this season.
Securing several impressive results over a short debut preparation through the 2014 autumn, Petrology was unable to produce much of a consistent run of form over the early stages of the Spring Racing Carnival, leading to his trainers and connections to consider gelding as a serious option moving forward.
Saving himself from the ultimate sacrifice however, Petrology staked his claims as a legitimate stallion prospect when breaking through for a maiden black type victory in the Listed TV Stakes (1800m) on Crown Oaks Day; repeating the dose in the Group 2 Sandown Stakes (1600m) most recently on November 15th.
Taking out a Werribee barrier trial on Friday morning, Dabernig told AAP he is confident the son of Fastnet Rock will line up for the Manfred Stakes in competitive condition.
“He narrowly won the jump-out and he’s going well,” Dabernig said.
“He’s a Fastnet Rock colt who doesn’t carry a lot of excess condition.
“Some of them are quite big, heavy-framed horses but he’s quite athletic and he’s come to hand very quickly.
“I think he’ll be pretty forward for that race of the 26th.”
Yet to settle on a specific path for the classy three-year-old this time in, Dabernig confirmed the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 7th will figure as Petrology’s major target should early form warrant a berth.
“I think first-up will be a good indicator of where he’s at,” he said.
“But his main goal is third-up in the Australian Guineas if he’s going well enough at the time.”
Securing three wins and further two minor places from just nine competitive starts so far, Petrology debuted with a comfortable victory in a minor over 1200m first-up before finishing a close second to Pressing in the Mindy Green 2.y.o Plate (1200m) on April 12th; returning to the paddock following a close run for second in the Listed Mt Dandenong Stakes (1200m) on May 3rd.
Placing fifth in the Listed McKenzie Stakes (1200m) first-up in spring, the colt out of Romantic River again finished fifth in a minor over 1000m before running a forgettable eighth in the Listed Vintage Stakes (1400m) and sixth in the Listed Crown Lager Stakes (1400m) leading into his TV Stakes triumph.