A blistering five and a half length triumph at Canterbury on Wednesday has those in the know tipping Gai Waterhouse’s emerging three-year-old Fat Al as a genuine 2012 AJC Derby contender during next year’s Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
The promising Al Maher gelding, purchased for just $27,000 at the 2010 William Inglis and Son Australian Easter Yearling Sale, took their record to two wins from four starts on Wednesday when they carried a hefty 58kg to victory in the Inglis 3YO Handicap (1900m) with ease.
Putting a minimum 5.5 lengths on their rivals, Fat Al displayed their potential as a stayer of the future and suitably impressed ace Sydney hoop Nash Rawiller who was aboard them for the first time in their all-the-way win over Duty Bound and Falklands.
After running a disappointing seventh on debut to Mahisara at Kembla Grange back in May on a Slow (7) course, Fat Al returned in early November and looked in great form winning a 1200 metres sprint at Gosford.
Last start they were narrowly defeated after jumping from barrier 13 of 14 in the Inglis Bonus Mile (1600m) at Warwick Farm on November 16, Tommy Berry aboard Fat Al who went down a nose to the Rawiller-ridden Hendricus.
Having jumped in Fat Al’s saddle at Canterbury on Wednesday, Rawiller predicted a big bright future for the youngster and named the $1.5 million Group 1 AJC Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 14 as an achievable aim with improvement to come.
“He’s a lovely horse, it’s just that the penny hasn’t really dropped with him yet,” Rawiller said.
“In the autumn that (the AJC Derby) might be his main aim.”
An earlier autumn assignment for Fat Al next season in Sydney could be the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 31, a race this year’s AJC Derby winner Shamrocker ran third in.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all your summer-autumn racing updates.
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