Derby fol­low-up a per­fect Match

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - SPORT - NATHAN EXELBY

AF­TER a se­ries of near misses and frus­tra­tions, Derby-bound colt A Man To Match show­cased his real tal­ent at his first mid­dle-dis­tance test at Doomben yes­ter­day.

A Man To Match ($3.40) had been beaten four times as favourite since his lone win, but to be fair, there were a num­ber of hard-luck sto­ries in­ter­wo­ven.

Bad luck didn’t come into play in the Ea­gle Way Stay­ers Se­ries heat (2000m) yes­ter­day, as Dale Smith weaved a path through the field turn­ing for home and the son of High Cha­parral opened up to win by nearly four lengths over Trusty Lad.

Trainer Tony Gol­lan im­me­di­ately flagged Derby am­bi­tions for the colt, but not be­fore he runs in the fi­nal of the Ea­gle Way se­ries on De­cem­ber 22, a race that will change to 2200m if Ea­gle Farm is given the green light to race that day.

“Even though I thought he would win last time, I wasn’t to­tally dis­ap­pointed in him,” Gol­lan said.

“I have been dy­ing to get him to a stay­ing trip and we saw what he’s ca­pa­ble of to­day.

“We gave him a cou­ple of sharp gal­lops af­ter his last start and he was spot on for this race.

“The beauty of this se­ries is that we can give them a good ground­ing over some of th­ese stay­ing trips and then put them out and give them a proper (Queens­land) Derby prepa­ra­tion.”

“He’s a Derby horse for sure,’’ Smith said.

“Tony has been bullish about him for a long time and he showed why to­day.

“He still does a bit wrong, but the abil­ity is there and he will eas­ily get over more ground.”

Gol­lan com­pleted a win­ning dou­ble when stable ad­di­tion Cold­stone took ad­van­tage of a crazy tempo in front to com­fort­ably win the Listed Bris­bane Hand­i­cap.

Gol­lan praised Mick Kent and the geld­ing’s own­ers for leav­ing him in Queens­land af­ter the win­ter car­ni­val.

“I’ve spo­ken to Mick about him and he couldn’t have been more help­ful,” Gol­lan said.

“I’ve done noth­ing spe­cial with him. He’s just the right horse at the right time and he will go to the Bern­bor­ough in three weeks and prob­a­bly be hard to beat again.”

Cold­stone im­pressed as the first horse to gal­lop on the new Ea­gle Farm course proper on Tues­day and he ran right up to that work yes­ter­day.

Jockey Matt McGil­livray said he was flushed out a touch early when beaten by Nic­canova first up, but was able to set­tle into a lovely trail­ing po­si­tion.

TOP STRIDE: A Man To Match wins the Ea­gle Way Stay­ers Se­ries heat at Doomben yes­ter­day. Pic­ture: AAP

TRACK POINTER: Matt McGil­livray on Cold­stone.

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