Tough slog for Haussmann in Foal Stakes
The runners in the Listed Great Northern Foal Stakes were battling through mud at Ellerslie on Saturday.
Talented gelding Haussmann showed the necessary resilience to win the Listed race but the 1400m slog took the Tony Piketrained son of Pour Moi a pedestrian 1:35.47 to complete.
The Cambridge trainer knows he’s got a classy horse on his hands but the testing Heavy 11 conditions had him worried prerace.
‘‘Fourteen hundred metres on top of the ground would be ideal,’’ Pike said as he queried the horse’s ability to handle the prevailing conditions.
But jockey Vinnie Colgan got the sometimes eager youngster to settle kindly before asking the strapping galloper for his best.
He responded like a good one to reel in the flying pacemaker So Far So Kool and was strong to the line beating the pacemaker by half a-length with a neck to Ohceedee in third.
‘‘He didn’t try and over-race which was a positive,’’ Pike said. ‘‘He wasn’t liking it [the ground] much up the straight.
‘‘It was good genuine win and points to him being a useful 3-year-old next season.’’
Haussmann was passed in for $35,000 as a Karaka yearling before his purchase by his current owners who include Mark Wyborn and Robin Peel-Walker.
There passion for chasing Derby glory has been well documented and they have another likely candidate for the classic.
They raced Queensland Oaks winner Provocative from the Pike stable.
Wyborn and Peel-Walker realised a Derby dream at Ellerslie in 1976 with Silver Lad.
A slow pace and the heavy track, resulted in Smedley taking 2:30.40 to repeat his win of the previous year on Ellerslie’s Irish race day in the Rating 85 2100m for trainer and part-owner Clayton Stevenson.
Last year he cut the distance out in a much faster 2.20.12 but with eight wins and around $170,000 in stakes Stevenson is just happy to see him back winning and will line him up a couple more times in this campaign.
Megablast booked his passage to Australia with a resounding win in the Open 1600 giving jockey Michael Coleman one of the easiest of his 1998 career wins.
‘‘He was jogging all the way,’’ he said as he closes in on 2000 wins. ‘‘It will be nice to get it out of the way - we’re sneaking up on it.
‘‘I won my 1000th here 14 years ago - so hopefully I might get it done today.’’
Trainer Nigel Tiley described Megablast’s win as ‘‘a nice hit-out before he gets on the plane’’.
‘‘We’re going to take him to Melbourne. The idea is to see how he settles in and give him a couple of runs in June as the owners are keen to campaign him over there again in the spring,’’ Tiley said.
Megablast makes his Victorian debut over 2050m at Moonee Valley on June 17.
‘‘All going well, he’ll kick off there and then we plan to back him up a week later over 2500 metres at Flemington,’’ Tiley said.
‘‘He’s a versatile horse and while some of his best winning form has been on wet tracks, I think that’s because he was just that much better than the others. He doesn’t mind better ground.’’
Haussmann is driven to the line by Vinnie Colgan (striped cap) to win the Champagne Stakes at Ellerslie.