The strength of Gai Waterhouse’s Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival-bound contingent continues to strengthen as the leading lady of racing unleashed another potential Group winner in Spurtonic at Canterbury on Wednesday.
The nicely-bred Flying Spur gelding made their four-year-old debut in the $40,000 Hyland Race Colours Benchmark 70 (1550m) and caught the eye with a tight win.
Ridden expertly by Tommy Berry the winner went out as a $4 chance first-up and was able to beat home their closest Allan Denham-trained rival Pleasurena ($11) by a quarter length.
“I knew not to panic because he’s got a great turn of foot,” Berry said after the win according to racenet.com.au.
“He had too much on the two in front.”
Michael Moroney’s Point Made ($15) was a close third while the punters’ pick, the John O’Shea-trained Target In Sight ($3.80) was disappointing finishing nearly five lengths off the winner in ninth.
Waterhouse and her Tulloch Lodge team are now eyeing “some of the better races” of the upcoming spring carnival for Spurtonic who is yet to race in black type company.
They have however already shown their staying potential when back on Boxing Day they ran second to subsequent Queensland Derby winner Hawkspur in a 1900m handicap at Rosehill.
Having taken a little longer than some of last season’s crop of three-year-olds to mature, Waterhouse’s stable representative Mark Newnham is now confident Spurtonic has what it takes to step up in grade.
“He’s been a slow-maturing horse but he’s starting to work it out now,” racenet.com.au reported Newnham as saying on Wednesday.
“We’ve nominated for some of the better races and he’ll certainly have his chance to perform in them if he continues to improve.”
One of those better races is actually a spring major with Spurtonic among the early entries for the $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) held at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday October 19.
They are a roughie in the ante-post Caulfield Cup markets however paying around $67 with the odds led by the Chris Waller-trained Doncaster Mile winner Royal Descent.