After two placings in Victoria over the past few weeks, Queensland trainers Steven O'Dea & Matthew Hoysted had their trip south justified at Caulfield on Saturday, as Uncommon James cruised to a comfortable victory in the Regal Roller Stakes.
The untapped four-year-old has now won five races from six starts, with two of those wins at Listed level.
There was one-way traffic for the gelded son of Cable Bay since nominations closed on Monday, with the smart punters proving bang on as the horse raced away to win by 2.25 lengths as a $1.75 favourite.
Despite a slight scare upon straightening when in a bumping duel with Ranges, Uncommon James looked the winner for a long way under local rider Damien Lane.
2022 Regal Roller Stakes Replay
Lane said that Uncommon James was a “raw talent” with plenty of upside, so connections are in for an exciting spring carnival.
“He was a little tentative at first and I thought ‘I'm here now, I've got to go', and I asked him to put his head over the ball and he did.
“He was good for me – all a part of the learning process for him and in the end he was too strong.”
While Steven O'Dea and stable representative Baylee Nothdurft travelled to Melbourne three weeks ago with Scallopini and Shooting For Gold, co-trainer Matt Hoysted was on course at Caulfield for the gelding's win.
Speaking post-race, Hoysted said that the victory took plenty of weight off his shoulders.
“Very, very happy,” he said.
“Obviously a bit of pressure off. We thought he'd be able to measure up down here, but until you see him do it, you sort of never really do know, and even around Caulfield for the first time, but he couldn't have been any more impressive.
“It was a great ride by Damien. We know he's got that dynamic turn of foot and he was really able to show that.
“The fact that he was able to run away from them, we think he's nowhere near the ceiling yet, so he's only going to continue to improve.”
No decision has been made as to where the promising sprinter will go next, with the Bobbie Lewis at Flemington a possibility.
Uncommon James is now an $8 second favourite for the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) on September 17 back at Caulfield.