Preferment has extended trainer Chris Waller’s standout day at Royal Randwick this afternoon; producing a strong late kick to take out the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) ahead of an impressive Magic Hurricane.
Preferment has been set on a course towards the Melbourne Cup this season, and was rated virtually no chance of success in the Hill Stakes as a $26 hope, having made no impact in his racing return a fortnight ago.
Jumping from the gates fairly, jockey Hugh Bowman took a position well within the field of fourteen as Bonfire, race favourite Complacent and Tremec took up the pace at a reasonable tempo away from the barriers.
Going to sleep and settling into an ideal rhythm, Bowman continued to bide his time aboard the Zabeel entire before pressing the four-year-old off the fence and beginning a move forward upon arriving at the final bend.
Matching stride for stride with leading Godolphin chance Magic Hurricane, Preferment continued to find over the race’s dying stages and managed to pull a length clear to post only his second career success in the Hill Stakes; a fading Complacent holding out for third.
Bowman delivered a typically polished performance aboard Preferment to win the 2015 Hill Stakes and was quick to heap the praise on the fortitude of the talented entire.
“It was a pretty solid gallop which suited this guy,” Bowman said after he crossed the line.
“Obviously 2000m is short of his best distance and this is the first I’ve been on him for a very long time.
“He’s a horse I’ve always had a very high opinion of and to see him come here and perform like that on soft ground spells big things for the remainder of the spring for him.
“It was no surprise. He’s by Zabeel, he’s got a big and strong way about him and he’s got a big spring ahead.”
Waller was thrilled with Preferment’s performance for success in the Hill Stakes and revealed he had been close to scratching the horse on account for the soft track this morning.
“He’s going well,”
“We were almost thinking about scratching him today but then just had a big think about it and thought of Bart Cummings and what he would do.
“He needs some mileage in his legs to be ready for these big races so he’s got to run and fortunately we have.
“A smart ride from Hugh Bowman, he got going at the right time and he was a good, tough horse in the last 100m.”