Promising sprinter Tactical Advantage will be given his chance in tougher company over the Sydney Autumn Carnival after the three year old scored a narrow but convincing win in the $100,000 Wilkes Quality (1000m) at Randwick last Saturday.
Tactical Advantage was dropping back in distance from 1200m to 1000m when he claimed a hat trick of wins with Saturday’s victory, coming off a win in a BenchMark 70 Handicap at Randwick on December 26 which followed a win over 1100m at Canterbury on December 9 in a three year old maiden.
Winning trainer James Cummings thinks that Tactical Advantage has the ability to take the next step and has picked out the Group 3 $150,000 Maurice McCarten Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on March 11 against the older sprinters as a likely Autumn Carnival target.
“Tactical Advantage is a very talented young horse,’’ Cummings said.
“To my mind, Tactical Advantage is essentially a sprinter and I have a race like the Maurice McCarten Stakes as a target for him over the Sydney autumn carnival.’’
Cummings took the advice of jockey Glyn Schofield who has been aboard Tactical Advantage for his hat trick of wins, and dropped him back to the 1000m after winning over 1100m and 1200m.
“I had my reservations about running him over 1000m but Glyn was adamant the horse had the speed and versatility to handle the shorter trip,” Cummings said.
Schofield said that there is still plenty of improvement in Tactical Advantage ($7) who raced a bit greenly in the straight and he was also impressed with the way the gelding accelerated over the concluding stages to gather in the leaders to claim a neck win over Spending To Win ($3.30).
“He is not an easy ride,’’ Schofield said.
“But this horse has very good acceleration and he showed that again today. I think he can only improve, too.
“He is still lightly raced and learning his craft but the raw ability is there for everyone to see.’’