This Saturday Tim Martin’s in-form three-year-old Pampelonne will take their next step towards the coveted 2012 Stradbroke Handicap when they race in the Inglis 3YO Guineas at Scone.
A trip up to Queensland for the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival’s richest race, the $1 million Group 1 AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 9, is on the cards for Rock Of Gibraltar gelding Pampelonne after they have won their opening two starts this season.
First-up they put two and a half lengths on their closest rival Superior Instinct in a Benchmark 80 over 1200m at Rosehill on March 24.
Racing in stakes company for the first time next-up on April 22 at Gosford Pampelonne was ridden by ace Kiwi hoop James McDonald for their one and a quarter length win over Fox in the Listed Gosford Guineas (1200m).
This Saturday they shoot for their third straight in the $500,000 Inglis 3YO Guineas (1400m) at Scone as they look to continue in the hoofsteps of last year’s Stradbroke Handicap winner Sincero.
Stephen Farley’s Wyong-based galloper Sincero won the Gosford – Inglis 3YO Guineas double last year before they travelled to Brisbane for the winter riches.
Their debut run at Eagle Farm was an 11th to Varenna Miss in the Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) but Sincero bounced back next start to beat home Doomben 10,000 winner Beaded in the Stradbroke.
While the Stradbroke is certainly a class rise and still a little way off, Martin is quietly confident that Pampelonne will make a nice horse for the race.
“I have a healthy opinion of him and I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but I’ve had the Stradbroke in mind for a while,” he said.
“Saturday is the test, he has to win and come through the race like he has his last two, he’s pulled up like he hasn’t raced.
“The way he is winning his races and coming through them, I’m very happy with.
“He has shown good improvement, certainly hasn’t gone backwards. He is ticking over nicely.”
On Saturday Pampelonne will be reunited with Hugh Bowman who hasn’t been aboard since their big two length win on debut at Warwick Farm back in September.
A healthy injection of funds from William Inglis and Son will see the Inglis 3YO Guineas 2012 give away a total of $500,000 in prize money instead of the standard $250,000 this year, something Martin is well aware of.
“It is good money isn’t it?” The horseman, who at one time trained out of Scone, said.
“It was a great couple of days last year (for the two-day Scone Cup meeting) and a credit to all concerned.
“It is very good for racing and the community up there.
“Having trained at Scone, it is a good feeling to go up there and win a race, I hope I can do it again this year.”
The latest Stradbroke Handicap odds at bookmaker.com.au are led by Beaded’s up-and-coming stablemate Mental, who Pampelonne ran a close second to at Rosehill over 1350m after blundering the start last October, at a quote of $8.
Last weekend’s BTC Cup winning filly Sea Siren follows on $9 with a Stradbroke start pending on her handicap penalty, with Pampelonne on the next line of betting at $10.
To get behind Pampelonne either this Saturday at Scone or next month in the Stradbroke, bookmaker.com.au has the odds you’re after.
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