Talented import Silverball will head to the 2015 The Metropolitan after he recorded a strong staying win in the Kingston Town Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
Silverball was settled in the second half of the field in the early stages of the Kingston Town Stakes, while Gai Waterhouse-trained King Kinshasa took up the running from Skyline Blush.
Jockey Brenton Avdulla got Silverball to the outside of the field and he took a while to respond, but he picked up well in the final 200 metres to record a strong win over Maurus and Foundry.
Avdulla admitted after the race that Silverball did require a bit of urging to pick up in the final stages of the race, but he was happy with the way that the Kahyasi gelding hit the line and he expects him to perform even better on a softer track.
“It wasn’t quick, more than anything I just kept him out of trouble,” Avdulla said.
“I was on a quality horse, I could have box-seated if I wanted to, but I didn’t want to rely on luck and I wanted to take all luck out of the equation.
“When he got to the outside he made a little bit of hard work on it and he was just going casually up the straight, but he did the job.
“He is a class animal.”
Waller won the 2015 Kingston Town Stakes with He’s Your Man and he elected to drop him back in trip for the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m), but he believes that the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) is the right race for Silverball.
Waller revealed that the horse’s former trainer Tony Millard indicated that he could be a legitimate Caulfield Cup or Melbourne Cup contender and he is confident that the seven-year-old will have no problems running out a strong 2400 metres.
“It was good to get the win and it was good to see him fight the whole length of the straight,” Waller said.
“The race was never over until the last 100 metres, but he was strong on the line.
“To be he looks more like a Metropolitan horse.
“There is three weeks between runs, so I have to make sure I get him a little bit fitter before the run.
“We won’t completely rule out the Epsom, but it would be doubtful at this stage.”
Maurus hit the line strongly in a performance that indicated he will relish the step-up to 2400 metres in The Metropolitan, while produced his best performance since he finished second in the 2014 edition of the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m).