Malaguerra overcame a chequered path to record an impressive win in the 2016 Star Kingdom Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon and could head to the 2016 TJ Smith Stakes next weekend.
Malaguerra got badly stirred up before the race and he was a big drifter on track, but he jumped from the gates cleanly and he was settled just behind the leaders in the early stages of the race.
Jockey Blake Shinn found himself in a pocket in the straight and it looked as though Malaguerra would be blocked for a run, but Coolring veered away from the rail and Malaguerra did not waste his opportunity and ran away from his rivals to record an impressive victory.
Shinn admitted that he was unsure whether he was going to get the run on Malaguerra, but he was delighted with the turn-of-foot the four-year-old showed when he was asked for an extra effort in the last 200 metres of the Star Kingdom Stakes.
“He just had a bit of nervous energy, he is not a bad horse and it just may be the race day pressure that gets to him a little bit,” Shinn said.
“Once it is all finished he settles down and the more racing he has the better he is going to be.
“He has a great motor, he settled beautifully in the run once the gates opened and I was just biding my time.
“I wasn’t sure if the run was going to come, I had a lapful of horse and thankfully the leader just rolled off enough.
“He showed a great turn-of-foot and he is going somewhere this horse.”
Co-trainer Lee Freedman was not concerned when Malaguerra sweated up badly before the start of the Star Kingdom Stakes and he was always confident that he was going to continue his winning streak.
The Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) is the long-term goal for Malaguerra, but Freedman revealed that he could elect to back the talented sprinter up in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick next Saturday.
“He sweated a bit more today, but that was the humidity and he is not use to that in Melbourne,” Freedman said.
“He will become more accustomed to it and he will get better, but fair play to the horse that he can do things like that and still win impressively as he did.
“He is a bulldog and he is a very, very nice horse.
“The plan is the Stradbroke and I will just see how he feels and how his behaviour is, but I might even have a look at the TJ.
“He is a very good young horse in form and they might find out how good he is.”
Target In Sight loomed as the winner late to finish second, while the well-backed Coolring was able to hang on to finish third.