Trainer Henry Dwyer has revealed that Queensland Derby winner Sonntag could be set for the Perth Cup during the 2014 Perth Summer Racing Carnival.
Sonntag capped off an incredible first campaign for Dwyer by scoring a tough staying victory in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday after breaking his maiden with a win at Sale less than two months ago.
Dwyer told Racing Victoria that Sonntag had come out of his Queensland Derby run in excellent condition, but confirmed that the three-year-old would be sent for a stint in the spelling paddock.
“I said to the boys he’s pulled up as good as any race and if there were an option for him in a couple of weeks’ time we could easily press on but he’s done he’s job this time in,” Dwyer said.
He’ll spell up here in Queensland, I’ve got him booked to head out to Washpool Lodge on Tuesday and depending on how he spells he’ll have between six to eight weeks out.”
Last year’s Queensland Derby winner Hawkspur went on to contest races like the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, but Dwyer said that he is unlikely to have Sonntag ready for a tilt at the major races this spring.
The rising trainer is instead eyeing the Perth Summer Racing Carnival with Sonntag and has the Group 1 Kingstown Town Stakes (1800m), Group 2 Cox Stakes (2100m) and Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) all on the agenda for the Teofilo gelding.
“The Perth Cup is of $500,000 and there are a series of staying races like the Group 1 Kingston Town and the Group 2 CB Cox Stakes which could all be used as lead in races,” Dwyer said.
“That’s just one of the options we could take and at the minute we are still enjoying the win.
“We’ll head back to Melbourne and discuss all possibilities in the coming weeks.”
Dwyer has been training in his own right for less than twelve months, after previously working for Robert Smerdon and Lloyd Williams, and admits that he is slightly embarrassed to have scored a win at the highest level of racing so early into his training career.
“Guilt is a word that comes to mind,” Dwyer told RSN on Sunday.
“There are plenty of trainers that haven’t won a Group 1 and they have been going a lot longer than me, but I don’t think that I will be giving it back in a hurry.”