Trainer Shea Eden is confident that rising three-year-old Stately Boy has progress into a serious 2016 Victoria Derby prospect through the forthcoming Spring Racing Carnival.
Stately Boy has only made one competitive appearance at the races so far, but more than impressed on that occasion and is bred for success over distances 2000 and above.
Confirmed in the final field for the Murray Cox Handicap (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday, Eden told AAP he has been pleased with the progress made by the Stryker gelding so far and hopes he will continue to improve through a spring campaign potentially geared towards the Victoria Derby 2016.
“I think he’s a really nice, progressive young horse,” Eden said.
“We’re certainly keen to get him out over a trip and possibly set him on a Derby campaign.
“He’s out of a mare who ran fourth in an Oaks and he’s by Stryker who has already sired a Derby winner in New Zealand.
“He’s given the impression from day one that he was going to get over a trip.”
Drawn on the rails for his second-up appearance this weekend, Stately Boy will be partnered by premiership contender Dwayne Dunn and Eden is expecting another strong performance.
“Dwayne Dunn takes the ride as well so it would be really nice to see what his thoughts are after riding him,” Eden said.
“If he can go there and run really well on Saturday, we’d obviously put him away for a little bit and plan that Derby path.
“It would have been nice to find a mile race after his debut.
“We couldn’t get that, but it’s a really nice race at Flemington which will give him his chance on turf. I think he’ll be better suited on turf and the Flemington track is certainly a testing 1400.”
Performing well in training prior to his competitive debut, Stately Boy jumped from the barriers well in the Club Officer Now Open Maiden (1400m) and took a good position in transit within the field of ten.
Weaving through the field rounding onto the final straight, the gelding out of Royale Harmony mustered a keen turn of foot to attack the line for a close second behind Savvy Belle.
Ladbrokes.com.au currently rates Stately Boy a $20 chance of success in the Murray Cox Handicap this weekend.
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