Sovereign Nation is set to back-up in the 2015 Caulfield Guineas next weekend after he recorded an impressive victory in the 2015 Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley tonight.
Sovereign Nation was settled behind the leading group in the early stages of the race, but jockey Michael Walker elected to get going early on the promising colt and he hit the front at the top of the straight.
The Encosta De Lago colt looked as though he may have been a sitting duck at the 150 metre mark, but he held off his rivals comfortably in the final stages of the race in an impressive Caulfield Guineas trial.
Walker was disappointed with the way that he rode Sovereign Nation when he finished seventh in the Listed Pin & Win Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 12 and he was clearly thrilled to steer the three-year-old that he believes has plenty of talent to his maiden win at stakes level in the Stutt Stakes.
“He is a very good horse,” Walker said.
“I didn’t want to go when I did, but a horse came around and pressured me and I didn’t want to get muddled up.
“I wanted him to win tonight so that we can push on the Guineas and I think that he is untapped.
“David and Tom have done a great job with him and I am happy that I am the bloke on him, especially given that I didn’t give him a good ride last time.”
Sovereign Nation was sent to the Lindsay Park team at the start of the spring after he finished second in a barrier trial at Rosehill Gardens on July 7 and he claimed his maiden race win on protest at Geelong on August 28 before he had no luck in the Pin And Win Stakes.
Co-trainer David Hayes said that he has always had a high opinion of Sovereign Nation and he confirmed that the promising colt would be given the chance at Group 1 level in the 2015 Caulfield Guineas next Saturday.
“He had no luck the other day,” Hayes said.
“Michael presented him at the right time today, he might have gone a fraction early, but he has lovely improvement in him and I am sure that he will be a factor as the spring goes on.
“I know that Gerry Harvey is very keen, if he pulls up well, to run him in the Guineas and I am even more keen to do it.
“We will definitely head to the Guineas and it is a real stallion making race the Guineas and this is a lovely stepping stone into it.”
Sovereign Nation is currently available at 2015 Caulfield Guineas odds of $12 with Ladbrokes, while Press Statement ($2.50) remains a clear favourite from Bassett ($8), Bon Aurum ($8), Ready For Victory ($8), Dal Cielo ($9) and Tulsa ($9).