An experiment to determine the Kosciuszko credentials of Man Of Peace has put the hardy gelding firmly in the mix for the $1.3 million feature.
Trainer Matthew Dale deliberately targeted Saturday’s ATC Thank You Jockeys Handicap (1300m) at Randwick to showcase the horse’s credentials for the October 17 sprint.
Man Of Peace did not let his trainer down, assuming his customary leadership role and dominating his rivals to score by 2-1/4 lengths over odds-on favourite Kordia with You Make Me Smile third.
Dale has no doubt Man Of Peace has the speed to be competitive over 1200 metres in The Kosciuszko, a race restricted to country-trained horses who are chosen by winning ballot holders.
“Back to 1300 was as close as I could place him to have a look and I thought, if he can come out and win a quality race like this then I’d put his hand up for a Kosciuszko and freshen him up for it,” Dale said.
“I think he answered those questions today.
“The best advertisement for The Kosciuszko is to win a race like that, then the rest will sort itself out.”
Man Of Peace had an early tussle for the lead with You Make Me Smile but once he found the front he controlled the race.
Apprentice Louise Day has now ridden Man Of Peace three times for as many wins and backed him to be competitive in a Kosciuszko.
The young rider brought up an early double a race later when the Joe Pride-trained De Grawin kicked back to score her maiden metropolitan win.
The victory continued a heady week for the Pride stable which has had seven winners in eight days and six winners from its past six runners.