Cranbourne trainer Chris Hyland has big autumn plans for his progressive three-year-old Bombalatomba with the Australian Guineas 2012 looking more than just a pie in the sky goal following the youngster’s solid win at Sandown over the weekend.
Posting their second career victory from just six starts the Fast ‘N’ Famous gelding, purchased by Hyland for NZ$40,000, held on to beat the Peter Snowden-trained Westchester by a half-neck in the $70,000 Hilton Manufacturing Handicap (1400m) on Saturday.
It was an eye-catching performance by the market mover, Bombalatomba backed in from $10 to $6, as they made up plenty of ground over the final 400 metres working their way from near last to first with Brad Rawiller aboard.
Hyland admitted that he had always held a high opinion of Bombalatomba whose ability was better than their strike rate suggested, and that he would go “for gold” with them this season.
“When the first two runs went a bit ordinary this time in, I said to the guys that won him, ‘We have always thought he goes good so let’s keep going with him’,” Hyland said on Saturday.
“The guys have been very patient and they have been rewarded today.
“He’s not a fantastic trackworker, but he turns up on the day and has a crack.
“He just has the right attitude. He performs when it matters.”
Bombalatomba’s next assignment will be the $200,000 Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on February 18, a race won last year by Peter Snowden’s son of Elusive Quality Bullbars.
Bullbars went on to run a brave second to history-making filly Shamrocker in the $750,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas over the Flemington mile at their next start, and Hyland will have his fingers crossed that Bombalatomba can race as competitively this season in the same two events.
“We will probably go for gold,” Hyland said.
“He is also paid up for the Australian Guineas and as we have always had a good opinion of him we will probably stay on that path.”
The 2012 Australian Guineas runs at Flemington on March 3.
Currently 115 three-year-olds are nominated for the even with first acceptances to be taken on February 21.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au over the coming weeks for all the latest Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival field and betting updates.