Lightly raced Royal Banquet has stepped up to midweek city grade and continued his winning run this winter to give emerging Newcastle trainer Nathan Doyle his first metropolitan winner at Warwick Farm.
The rising four-year-old gelding made it four wins from five career starts, and three victories from as many starts this preparation since joining Doyle’s stable, when he revelled in the heavy conditions to take out Wednesday’s Grunt Standing @ Yulong Handicap (1400m) in benchmark-70 grade.
It followed wins in a Scone class one and a Newcastle class two in his previous starts this winter.
With Lee Magorrian aboard, the $2.45 favourite drew clear over the concluding stages to defeat Eden Vale by 5-1/4-lengths.
“Every time we step him out he keeps improving,” Doyle told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
“He was quite an anxious horse when he first got to us and he’s still very raw and new.
“It’s just such a relief to get the first city win on the board.”
He said Royal Banquet’s owner Matthew Sandblom had been a good supporter of the stable.
“There were offers coming thick and thin for this horse and he stuck by us, kept the horse,” Doyle said.
“I’m glad he did.”
Wednesday’s meeting was the final Sydney metropolitan meeting of the 2019-20 season and apprentice Louise Day played a starring role by riding a winning treble.
Two of Day’s victories were aboard horses trained by Joe Pride who also had a winning treble on the program.
Day’s first winner on the seven-race card came aboard the Bjorn Baker-trained Matowatakpe before victories aboard the Pride-trained duo Brutality and Threeood.
Pride’s other winner was with Red Hot Chillypins and Kerrin McEvoy, who later also steered the Matthew Dunn-trained The Fire Trap to a three-quarters of a length win in the final race on the card.
The Fire Trap claimed a benchmark-70 over 1200m, in which the four-year-old gelding carried 62kg in his first start back from a spell.
Dunn bookended the meeting, with three-year-old gelding Quatum making a winning start to his career in the Xtravagant At Newhaven Park Sprint (1100m) when scoring by 1-1/4-lengths against three rivals.