Tanhauser careers away with Rough Habit Plate victory

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Chris Waller & combined in the final race at Doomben on Saturday afternoon, with Tannhauser (+290) proving too strong in the Group 3 Plate (2000m).

It comes on the back of a luckless performance in the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) last start at Randwick on April 20, in a race where back markers simply couldn't come into play.

He had been consistent without winning prior to Saturday, but thanks to a perfectly timed steer by James McDonald, the son of was finally able to secure his first stakes victory, holding off the Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) winner (+150) in the concluding stages.

Captain Fenkel (+10000) assured a genuine staying test in the Rough Habit, crossing to lead at a strong tempo under Andrew Mallyon, while Port Lockroy (+600) and (+600) got into a lovely rhythm in behind the speed.

Gold Bullion (+1200) was forced to take a sit under this time, while the quinella pair were happy to bide their time slightly worse than mid-field throughout.

Kintyre showed out in the finally 300m, but when asked the ultimate question by McDonald, it was Tannhauser striking the front, with Autumn Angel giving another outstanding audition for either the Group 1 Derby (2400m) or Group 1 (2200m) later in the carnival.

Chris Waller was on course to breakdown the win, crediting a gelding operation as a major factor in his turnaround from last start, before confirming Tannhauser appears likely to line up in the Group 1 .

“He's been thereabouts (lately) and run some nice races,” said Waller.

“He has been gelded since his last run and that might have made all the difference.

“The staff, good methods, they did a fantastic job. He was getting bathed four or five times a day, as you should, and very simple. Simple as that.
“He's just raced so much better. They turn into ugly horses instead, but they can get tricky sometimes as colts.

“Onto the Derby. I assume he'll get into the field. We'll see what James (McDonald) says.”

James McDonald spoke post-race and always believed in the horses' ability before being gelded but credited the master trainer making the decision.

“Perfect run,” said McDonald.

“He's a nice horse. He's got a lot of ability. This time last year he might have started favourite for a .

“He's a proper horse and Chris gave him the gelding operation to make him a horse this time.

“You never question the master (Waller).

“Not a drama (getting 2400m). He relaxed well and gives himself every chance anyway. Doesn't matter if it is wet or dry, hard to beat.”

Tannhauser has now firmed into a +300 favourite with online bookmakers for the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) on June 1.

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