Godolphin’s Sweynesse kept his unbeaten record intact with a commanding win in the Group 3 $125,000 Coca-Cola Spring Stakes (1600m) at Newcastle today.
Sweynesse ($2.70 favourite) will now head to the Group 1 $400,000 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 11 after Kerrin McEvoy guided the Lonhro colt over the line a long neck ahead of the fast finishing Pounamu ($31).
The Peter Moody trained Monteux ($4.60) held on for third, three quarters of a length away after racing in the leading bunch.
Sweynesse had won his two previous starts at Kembla Grange and Rosehill and McEvoy gave the Lonhro colt plenty of time to find his feet in the early stages and settle him near the tail of the first at his first try at the 1600m with the Gai Waterhouse trained Hampton Court setting the pace.
McEvoy eased him to the middle of the track on the home turn and Sweynesse had an easy run to the line with McEvoy not having to put very much pressure on the three year old.
Sweynesse recorded the first stakes win in the Godolphin’s royal blue colours since the change over from the Darley red and white at the start of the new racing season in August and racing manger Jason Walsh is hoping he can collect more black type stakes prizemoney in the near future.
“First stakes winner for Godolphin with a permanent presence in Australia, huge thrill for the whole team,” Walsh said.
“Typical of a Lonhro, every time we raise the bar he jumps.”
“We had the Spring Champion in mind for him, depending on him performing today which he has done, done impressively. A really nice colt going forward.”
Walsh is confident that Sweynesse will handle the 2000m of the Spring Champion Stakes and hasn’t ruled out an attempt at the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 1.
“There is plenty of staying blood there in the pedigree. We agree that 2000m should pose no problem and he is a very exciting horse for us.”
“There are not many Lonhros that do get past a mile, but we haven’t got anywhere near the bottom of him yet so I certainly would rule out any plans.”