Emerging colt Philippi kept his unbeaten record alive and announced himself as a Victoria Derby contender with an impressive win the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) at Flemington today.
After jumping reasonably from barrier 12, jockey Brad Rawiller was able to position the Mick Kent-trained colt midfield as the likes of Priority Road and Jimando pushed forward.
Philippi was originally down to race last Friday against Pierro in the Stutt Stakes but the decision to hold off another week paid dividends as the promising stayer weaved his way between runners before finding a run along the inside in the straight.
From there he showed impressive finishing ability to hit the line strongly and claim a 3/4 length victory ahead of Hvasstan and Jimando.
Kent confirmed the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) was the major spring goal but said he would be cautious not to push the lightly-raced colt too hard too early.
“It was a good strong race wasn’t it,” Kent said.
“It was a bit awkward, he was in an awkward spot on the home turn…but that’s what he’s always done, he’s always been strong late and he was again today.
“It’s a first prep and we’re very mindful of that. We’re heading towards the Derby but we’ll just let him tell us.”
Rawiller was riding Philippi for the first time and gave him a glowing endorsement heading towards bigger spring challenges.
“His last 100m then the way he powered through the line was very impressive and certainly is exciting going towards the Derby,” Rawiller said.