Pornichet did plenty wrong, but was still able to record his maiden Australian race win in the 2014 Sandown Stakes at Sandown this afternoon.
Pornichet was extremely well-backed in the lead-up to the Sandown Stakes and was settled in a lovely position by jockey James McDonald in the early stages of the race, but he overraced at the 1200 metre mark and checked General Groove significantly down the back straight.
McDonald asked Pornichet for an extra effort at the 400 metre mark and he initially had trouble fighting off early leader Spacecraft, but he finished strongly in the final 100 metres to run away from his rivals and record a comfortable win from General Groove and Spacecraft.
The leading Sydney hoop said that it was obvious he was on the class horse in the 2014 Sandown Stakes and he believes that the Vespone entire has the ability to compete at the highest level of racing during the autumn.
“Obviously his class was evident and I didn’t want to make any excuses for him, so I put him in the race and he did the rest,” McDonald said.
“I hit it a fair way from home and he found the line really well.
“He is a really smart galloper and they are going to have a lot of fun; he is on the way up, he will improve with fitness and I think that he will be a Group horse for sure especially in the autumn with a bit of give in the tracks.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse has always had a high opinion of Pornichet, comparing him to 2013 Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente, and she was thrilled to see the imported galloper take out the Sandown Stakes.
The leading Sydney trainer admitted after the race that Pornichet did plenty wrong in the Sandown Stakes, but she believes that the four-year-old has plenty of improvement in front of him and he will be an even better horse when he is given an opportunity over a longer trip.
“There is plenty to work with and I think that the further he goes, the better he goes,” Waterhouse said.
“He pins his ears back like another horse that I know very well, but he is still very green and he overraced early then he got into his rhythm, took a second or two to pick up and then he really was full of vengeance finding the line.
“We will give him a little break now, come back in the autumn and you will see him back here.
“He excites me enormously.”
Pornichet made his Australian racing debut with a fourth place finish in the Group 3 Yellowglen Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day and he has form around the likes of Adelaide and Karakontie during his racing career in the Northern Hemisphere.