Veladero held-on in the final stages to record a very close victory in a thrilling edition of the 2016 Gloaming Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
Jockey Rory Hutchings elected to take Veladero after the colt refused to settle in the early stages of the race, but he eventually found a nice rhythm before he was able to get away with a couple of cheap sectionals.
Veladero looked like a sitting duck in the final 300 metres of the race as a host of rivals loomed on the outside, but Hutchings timed his ride to perfection and he held-on late to score a very tough victory.
Hutchings revealed after the race that not everything went to plan in the Gloaming Stakes with Veladero, but he was delighted with the toughness that the three-year-old showed in the final stages of the race.
“He jumped well, but so did the rest drawn inside of him,” Hutchings said.
“He wanted to pull against me for the first bit of the race, so I let him roll to the front and we pulled back the speed down the side.
“It was a tough effort to hold them off.
“He is racing in solid form and he can only go on from there.”
Chris Waller stable representative Charlie Duckworth confirmed that the original plan was not to lead on Veladero in the Gloaming Stakes, but he was quick to praise Hutchings for his astute ride.
The Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick in a fortnight is the next logical option for Veladero, but Duckworth refused to confirm whether the colt would follow in the path of stablemate Vanbrugh and head to the Group 1 race after taking out the Gloaming Stakes.
“It was great ride from him,” Duckworth said.
“It didn’t exactly go to plan – that wasn’t how he was told to ride it – but he did a really good job.
“It was an exceptional effort from the horse as well.
“There are the options of doing it (running in the Spring Champion Stakes), but you have to just take every day as it comes and see how he comes out of this.
“He wasn’t stopping at the post there and he was strong through the line.”
There were a host of hard-luck stories in the Gloaming Stakes, with Prized Icon getting blocked for a run and Swear getting too far back off the slow-pace.