Godolphin colt Tessera will head towards the 2016 Golden Slipper after he improved his record to two wins from as many starts with a fighting victory in the Canonbury Stakes at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Tessera was the first horse out of the barrier and he took up the running in the early stages of the race, while boom colt Defcon was settled at the tail of the field.
Avdulla got Defcon to the outside and the son of Choisir responded when he was asked for an extra effort to put his head in front of Tessera at the 200 metre mark, but Tessera fought back in gallant fashion to take out the Canonbury Stakes.
Trainer John O’Shea told the media after the race that he originally planned to give Tessera his next race start in the Listed Talindert Stakes (1100m) at Flemington on February 20, but he said that he will now set the son of Medaglia D’Oro for the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 19.
“Tessera conceded late to them today but he was able to win again and that shows he has a future,” O’Shea said.
“You know what you get with this one, he is an unassuming colt but when he comes to the races and gives 100 per cent.
“He made nice improvement from his first start which led us to believe he would be competitive again.
No matter what I think, he keeps showing us he is a very good colt and more than capable of holding his own at any level.
“He loves a scrap.”
Jockey James McDonald also admitted after the Canonbury Stakes that he may have underestimated Tessera in the lead-up to both of his race starts to date, but he is now confident that two-year-old has some improvement left in him as he heads towards the Golden Slipper.
“He is a lovely colt,” McDonald said.
“At his first start, we didn’t think he would win but he got the job done.
“Today, he was giving all these horses a bit of weight and there are big raps on them but he has won again.
He has probably flown under the radar a bit but all you can do is win.
“Wait until I can ride him with a sit, he will be much better.”
Tessera is currently available at 2016 Golden Slipper odds of $15 with Ladbrokes, while Capitalist ($3.60) is a dominant favourite from Astern ($9), Calliope ($13), Honesty Prevails ($13), Extreme Choice ($15), Scarlet Rain ($15) and Yankee Rose ($15).