The best-laid plans of horses and men sometimes go awry – and can even result in a Group Three victory.
Veladero found himself making the pace in yesterday’s Gloaming Stakes at Rosehill despite trainer Chris Waller giving jockey Rory Hutchings instructions to settle worse than midfield.
The tempo slowed in the middle stages, allowing Veladero to pick up some cheap splits before he held off the challenge of Honeywine in the straight.
“It didn’t exactly go to plan,” Waller’s racing manager Charlie Duckworth said. “It wasn’t exactly how he was told to ride it but he did a really good job.”
Thye Gloaming Stakes was Hutchings’ biggest win since finishing his apprenticeship in June. “He’s only just (become) a senior jockey but he played them well there,” Duckworth said.
The James Cummings-trained Prized Icon was promoted to third after stewards upheld a protest against Godolphin’s Retaliation.
While Duckworth was giving little away in the absence of his boss, the Gr. 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 8 looms as an appealing option for the Medaglio d’Oro colt’s next start.
Duckworth said the style of the win suggested Veladero could handle a longer race. “He certainly wasn’t stopping at the post there. He was strong through the line,” Duckworth said.
Hutchings said Veladero led after he decided not to fight the horse when he pulled against him in the early stages.
“If he settles better than today he’s definitely going to go a lot further,” the expat Kiwi said.
Veladero has followed a similar path to Vanbrugh, who Waller took from midweek winner to Gloaming winner before taking out last year’s Spring Champion.
Veladero gave Waller his third Gloaming victory, 10 years after All Black Gold became his first Sydney Group winner in the same race. – The Informant