Celestial Legend a class above in Hobartville Stakes

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Celestial Legend (+750) has launched over the top late to score an eye-catching victory in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday afternoon.

The son of had always been promising a performance like he did on Saturday, but with only a maiden success to his name, the Les Bridge-trained galloper was beginning to test the patience of followers.

He finally repaid that faith on Saturday, with storming down the centre of the course in the concluding stages to claim victory and have the three-year-old right on track for a Group 1 Guineas (1600m) tilt later in the season.

It was a contest set up with a genuine tempo, courtesy of the & Adrian Bott-trained pair of Les Vampires (+800) and Ganbare (+2500) electing to head to the lead, while key market hopeful Tom Kitten (+220) was relegated to the back-half of the field.

The same can be said for (+750) and Cafe Millennium (+3300), as the latter chased early on the three-wide line.

Kerrin McEvoy was able to navigate to a perfect stalking position with cover turning in, and as the race went on, Celestial Legend put them away in stylish fashion.

Les Vampires was able to stick on gamely to fill out the trifecta spot, while (+550) got back to a resemblance of his best, finding -up position, with the -trained Fukubana (+600) not far off in fourth.

It was all about the winner, however, as Celestial Legend no moves on to bigger autumn targets according to Les Bridge as he compared his colt to winner Classique Legend.

“He's a good horse and in six months he'll be three or four lengths better,” said Bridge.

“Deep down I felt the same as I felt with Classique Legend, this bloke is nearly as good.

“I don't have to do it (train) these days, I just do it because I'm terrified of having nothing to do. Mr Ho has been absolutely marvellous to me and I just hope this repays him a little bit.

“He didn't see much of Classique Legend and it was a tragedy that he broke down, but he's got a good replacement with this one.”

Kerrin McEvoy continued his association with the Les Bridge barn and couldn't be happier with the second-up performance moving to the Randwick Guineas.

“He's always promised a lot and Les (Bridge) and his team have been saying that he's a really good horse in the making,” said McEvoy.

“We've probably been saying for a little while that we thought 1400m is going to be a sweet spot for him and hopefully a mile, so it was nice to see him do that today.

“It was nice to see him be in really good order and be switched on before the race. He had a good start and I said to the guys before I went out ‘the start is key.'

“If he begins well and I can get in front of a few of the horses that I deemed as slower opposition, it was going to be and that's how it worked out.

“A mile at Randwick will suit. The penny is just dropping so I think he's onwards and upwards towards those bigger targets now.”

Celestial Legend has now firmed into a $6.00 second-favourite with horse racing bookmakers for the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) in a fortnight.

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