Improving Cranbourne galloper Summarise has earned a shot at stakes glory in next month’s Grafton Cup after the Stephen Theodore-trained gelding enjoyed a strong win at Sandown on Wednesday.
A well-bred four-year-old by champion Australian sire Lonhro from Flying Spur mare Material Girl, Summarise scored their sixth career victory from 22 starts when Damien Oliver rode them to a one and a quarter length victory over the Peter Moody-trained Merryvale in the $30,000 Betfair Handicap (2400m) yesterday.
“Last preparation was his first prep with me and I had to teach him to settle and relax and run the trip (2400m),” Theodore said.
“This time in he’s a different horse, much bigger, strong and mature.”
Theodore was quick to name the $160,000 Listed Grafton Cup (2300m) on July 14 as the next target for Summarise, which will be the horse’s second attempt at adding a black-type win to their record.
Back in February Summarise stepped up to Listed race company for the first time in the Mornington Cup (2400m), but flopped when fading to finish nearly 19 lengths away ninth to Guyno.
Spelled for a three month break after that run, Summarise has now had four runs since returning, including their devastatingly close second when beaten in the final stride by Can Do in the Swan Hill Cup (1600m) on June 12.
“The Sawn Hill Cup was our first aim and Grafton Cup is our next,” Theodore said on Wednesday.
“At Swan Hill he should have won, no doubt, and we gave him the run last week here preparing him for this race.
“We knew it was a big step up, quickly, but if I wanted him ready for the 2350 metres at Grafton he had to do the job today.
“The owners (including the famous Rex Hunt) keep thinking he won’t stay but I think today I might have convinced a few to just relax and let me do my job.”
Having shown a nice return to form on Wednesday, however, Theodore is now planning the lengthy float trip up to Grafton for the Cup and has already re-booked the services of top Victorian jockey Damien Oliver.