Provincial star Sir Elton has had his colours lowered for the first time at Randwick by a filly whose trainer believes will be a spring star.
The Chris Waller-trained Haut Brion Her ($3.60) wore down $1.65 favourite Sir Elton in Saturday’s Benchmark 74 race over 1200m with the latter then edged out of second by Misteed ($10)
Ridden by Blake Shinn at his last meeting before he heads to Hong Kong, Haut Brion Her took her record to three wins from four starts with her only defeat on debut in November.
“She is a special horse and has gone up a level this preparation,” Waller said.
“The leader is obviously a very talented horse and we knew we would have to make him work,
“She was up to the challenge and she will measure up in the spring.”
Shinn said he was aware of the task confronting Haut Brion Her and she rose to it.
:”I knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” he said.
“I made sure she settled well and when it came time to apply the pressure she did everything right.
“It was poetry.
“The sky’s the limit for her and I think she could be a budding star of the future.
“It was nice to see her today measure up against a really untapped horse in Sir Elton and win with consummate authority.”
Sir Elton’s trainer Adam Duggan indicated he would now have a break.
The Waller stable was to the fore again with Wu Gok in the Eremein Handicap (2000m).
Although the track was in the soft range compared to his last-start win on a heavy nine, his preferred surface, Wu Gok ($3.40 fav) had too much ammunition for stablemate Dagny ($6.50) to beat him by a neck.
“Obviously it’s not a firm track but he won on a very heavy track two weeks ago and still beat them today,” Waller said.
“He is in a great place and the race panned out really well.
“He is a tough stayer and has recovered from a tendon injury to be going really well.”
At his previous start, Wu Gok had beaten the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Dr Drill who franked the form with his win in the Everest Carnival Handicap (1800m).
He was ridden on Saturday by Victoria’s leading apprentice Teo Nugent who gave up the opportunity to ride in the Rising Stars Final at Flemington.
Nugent’s three kilogram claim got the $3.20 favourite into the race with 60kg and he beat Costello ($12) by a length.
“On a soft track he is very competitive,” Nugent said.
“I was very happy with the way he carried the weight because he is only a very small horse.”