Chateau Fort has effortlessly made the jump in class to Group 3 level by winning the $125,000 Gunsynd Classic at Eagle Farm today.
The Kempinsky colt won the first Group race of the winter racing season by almost a length ahead of 16 other talented three-year-olds.
Chateau Fort now appears to be in lightning form ahead of his major winter carnival aim of the Group 1 Queensland Derby on June 11.
The fact that Chateau Force was able to perform so well over the mile would have come as a big shock to the horse’s trainer, Paul Messara, who was not confident of their chances before the race.
“He’ll make a nice horse later on but I just feel he won’t be at his best over 1600 metres,” Messara said.
“I don’t expect him to be too effective until he gets up to 2000 metres and then I’ll be more confident with him.
“He’s still a good each-way chance tomorrow.”
Messara did, however, predict exactly how Chateau Force would run his race.
“I expect him to settle around midfield and he’ll be hitting the line strongly,” Messara said before the race.
Chateau Force will now take the step up in distance and will most likely run in two more feature races before tackling the big Group 1 Queensland Derby to end his campaign.
“He’s heading for the Derby here and will run next in the Rough Habit Plate and probably the Grand Prix,” Messara said.
“I’m only looking at the carnival here for the time being and I want to see how he goes before looking too far ahead.”
Chateau Fort won the Gunsynd Classic in a time of 1 minute and 39.56 seconds ahead of second place-getter Eqessential and third place-getter Igles Star.