The Group 2 $200,000 Back To Caulfield P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday will be a good Spring pointer for English import Spillway.
Spillway will be saddling up for his second Australian campaign and has already shown he can handle the local conditions with a win in the Group 3 $150,000 Japan Racing Association Plate (2000m) at Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
That was the English stayer’s third run on Australian soil and he was quick to acclimatise after two unplaced runs, a seventh in the Listed $150,000 Yalumba Golden Mile (1600m) at Bendigo on March 15 and an eighth in the Group 3 $150,000 tab.com.au Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on April 5.
Co-trainer Tom Dabernig is expecting Spillway to race well on the fresh side in the weight for age contest on Saturday, but is looking forward to the longer races later in the Melbourne Spring Carnival as he heads towards the Group 1 $3m Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 18.
“His form will tell the further he gets the better but I think he will sprint well fresh,” Dabernig told the Sportsman.
“He is a horse that doesn’t carry a huge amount of excess weight and is naturally pretty athletic.”
Lindsay Park trainer David Hayes, who formed a training partnership with Dabernig at the beginning of the new racing season is excited about the import stepping out for his first Spring Carnival campaign.
“He bolted in at his last start in Sydney during the autumn carnival and that was group 3, he spelled well, in fact he’s thrived in the winter months and I’ll be more than interested to see how he fares on Saturday.” Hayes said.
“I know the race will be a bit short, and that might be his undoing, but he has impressed me in what he’s done for the long term.
“I took him to Flemington last Friday and he went well in a jump out and Damien Oliver who rode him said that he would like to be on him in the Lawrence Stakes, so that’s a compliment in itself.”
Spillway had three wins in England to his credit before arriving in Australia, 2 over 2000m and one at 2200m and was also placed over 2400m when third in the Group 3 £75,000 Neptune Investment Management Gordon Stakes at Goodwood in July, 2013.
Spillway is marked as a $9.50 chance in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes with Labdrokes.com.au who have last year’s winner Puissance De Lune as the early favourite at $3.60 to make it back to back wins.
Also in the betting is the Peter Moody trained Lidari at $5.50, Star Rolling from the stables of Peter Morgan and Craig Widdison at $6.50 and Chris Waller’s Group 1 winner Foreteller at $7.
And in early Caulfield Cup betting Spillway is listed as a $26 chance.