Sydney horseman Steve Englebrecht is eyeing the Villiers Stakes at Warwick Farm this December for his progressive youngster Malavio who made up plenty of late ground to score a thrilling win in the Civic Stakes 2012 at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
The three-year-old Snitzel gelding blitzed their rivals when stepping up to black type company for the first time despite sitting last on the turn for home in the $100,000 Listed Civic Stakes (1400m).
Englebrecht watched nervously from the sidelines on Saturday as jockey Nathan Berry looked to be struggling aboard Malavio ($6).
He had nothing to worry about however as the horse pulled out a blistering late burst down the outside to run home the strongest and score their sixth victory from 14 starts.
On the line Malavio had an easy two and a quarter lengths to spare over the favourite Famous Seamus ($5) with the Jeff Brasch-trained Ideal Position ($6) finishing off the winning Civic Stakes trifecta a further three quarters of a length away in third.
Earlier this season Malavio suffered cardiac arrhythmia and while you couldn’t tell on Saturday, Englebrecht said he felt that’s exactly what he went through watching the Civic Stakes.
“I had it a furlong out,” Englebrecht said.
“It wasn’t the plan to be back last. I thought he would be two pairs back.
“Nathan obviously used Plan B but there wasn’t a Plan B.”
The trainer may have been biting his nails but Berry said he was confident he could get the horse home in time the entire race by practicing the art of patience.
“He was slowly away and I just let him bide his time,” Berry explained.
“He can pull a bit if you get at him.
“He’s new at the caper and shows a lot of talent.
“We had a lovely run. I had no worries.”
Englebrecht now believes the $175,000 Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at their home track at Warwick Farm is more than a pipe dream for Malavio this Sydney Summer Racing Carnival.
“He is absolutely flying,” Englebrecht said on Saturday.
“The 1400 metres did the trick.
“After what he’s done today he may be better than I thought he was.
“He’s still very green and big and gangly.
“Without being too optimistic, I’d like to give him a freshen-up and the Villiers might be a nice race for him.
“I certainly think 1600 metres will be no problem.”
Below are the full 2012 Riviana Foodservice Civic Stakes results and finishing order.
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2012 Civic Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Rosehill Race 6 – 3:03pm – 30/06/2012
|1||11||MALAVIO||Steve Englebrecht||Nathan Berry||–||8||54kg||$6|
|2||7||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||Ms Robyn Freeman-Key||2.3L||10||54kg||$5F|
|3||8||IDEAL POSITION||Jeff Brasch||Greg Ryan||3.1L||5||54kg||$6|
|4||9||THINK MINK (NZ)||John O’Shea||Corey Brown||4.8L||3||54kg||$10|
|5||4||ALBERTON PARK (NZ)||John O’Shea||Chad Schofield (a)||5.1L||9||55kg||$5.50|
|6||5||HOOD||Guy Walter||Christian Reith||6.2L||11||54kg||$15|
|7||3||TROMSO||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||6.3L||6||56.5kg||$7|
|8||10||MADIBAGOLD||David Payne||Sam Clipperton (a)||6.4L||1||54kg||$31|
|9||2||BRILLIANT LIGHT||Kerry Parker||Jay Ford||8.8L||7||56.5kg||$31|
|10||1||LADY LYNETTE||Lee Freedman & Graeme Rogerson||Peter Robl||9L||2||59kg||$15|
|11||6||PIMPALA SECRET||Marc Conners||Blake Spriggs (a)||10.8L||4||54kg||$31|