Securing a commendable record of two wins and a further four minor places in his short nine race career to date, trainer David Hayes is confident of a position in the final field of the featured Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) for classy three-year-old Lotion following a strong victory in the Listed Hill Smith Stakes (1800m) at Morphettville over the weekend.
Jumping from the gates well in the Hill Smith Stakes, Lotion was settled in prime position on the heels of early leader Beau’s My Boy, finding a clear line upon reaching the final straight and extending to finish a length in the clear of Jon O’Connor-trained gelding.
Understandably pleased with the Good Journey gelding’s performance in the Hill Smith Stakes, stable representative for Hayes and Tom Dabernig, Bill Papazaharoudakis said he is confident Lotion will respond particularly well to the step-up to 2500m for the 2014 Victoria Derby.
“That was pretty tough. He’s grown into a nice horse. He’ll go back to Melbourne now and head towards the Derby,” Papazaharoudakis said of Lotion’s performance in the Hill Smith Stakes.
“They went steady and I got a lovely run outside the back of the leader; he just relaxed and went to sleep,” veteran jockey Craig Robertson added.
“He quickened up good from the 600m and was just too strong.
“He’ll get further. He goes to sleep and gives himself a chance.”
Finishing third amongst classy company in each of the Boxing Day Family Races Plate (1000m) and Better Beyond Plate (1000m) on debut over summer, Hayes’ decision to skip the 2014 Autumn Carnival with the now three-year-old appeared to immediately pay dividends when charging home to win the Tapestry Wines Handicap (1200m) first-up on June 7th.
Continuing to build in form and classy on his way so second behind classy runner Samartested in the Cove Hotel 3.y.o (1400m) on August 20th, the gelding out of Poison Ivy finishing third in the City Jeep Handicap (1500m) on September 10th and was unlucky to be blocked for a run when finishing a disappointing tenth in the Ready2Race Handicap (1700m) in his only other start prior to the Hill Smith Stakes.
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