Deposed jockey Tye Angland was among the first people to congratulate Chris Waller after Press Statement made a one-act affair of the Stan Fox Stakes at Rosehill.
Angland, the horse’s regular rider, was replaced by Hugh Bowman on Saturday after Press Statement’s unlucky Golden Rose fifth.
Waller said a desire to get a fresh opinion on how Press Statement was going was the reason behind the jockey change and Bowman’s experience in Melbourne will see him keep the prized mount in the Caulfield Guineas.
“We were probably too caught up pre-race in race instructions and I will take the blame for getting beat last start,” Waller said.
“I’m not blaming Tye, who was the first one to congratulate me after the race. He will go back on again.
“I was confused after his last start, not because of the interference but because I thought, `geez, is he going as well as I think he is?
“We can go to Melbourne with a bit of confidence now.”
Starting a $1.30 favourite, Press Statement settled fourth in the six-horse field and ambled up to join the leaders at the 200m.
He shot clear to score by three lengths over Shards ($9), who turned in an improved effort after his Golden Rose disappointment, with leader Rageese ($6) holding on for third.
“I couldn’t have asked him to do anything more today,” Waller said.
“I think a mile will really suit him and the pressure of a Caulfield Guineas will really suit him.”
Bowman said the winner relaxed well in the run and gave the impression a distance rise to 1600m in the Guineas would suit him.
“There was a little bit of tactical rivalry going on early in the race but I wasn’t going to have any of that. I was only worried about getting the horse into his rhythm,” Bowman said.
“He feels like a Group One horse to me. I know today is 1500 metres but I’m looking forward to a tough mile. I think he will really enjoy it.”
Press Statement has firmed into a $3.20 favourite for the Caulfield Guineas. – AAP TURF