Derby follow-up a perfect Match
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.